#OnYaThorpie: Overwhelming support for Ian Thorpe on his coming out
People have taken to social media to express their support for Ian Thorpe who has come out as gay.
The revelation, made in a television interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, end years of speculation about Thorpe’s sexuality.
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Jason Ball, who was the first Australian rules football player to ever come out, tweeted: “@IanThorpe's coming out is no doubt a huge step forward for him personally, but also for society more broadly. Deserves to be celebrated.”
Journalist Maggie Alderson tweeted: “Dear Thorpey, I admired you as a sportsman, I really liked you when we met – and now I respect you. Out and proud xxx.”
The hashtag #OnYaThorpie is trending on Twitter.
Thorpe’s sexuality has been the subject of gay rumours for many years.
Previously Thorpe has gone on the record saying he was not gay.
In his 2012 memoir, This Is Me, the 31-year-old wrote: "For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight.”
In the autobiography, the Olympic champion also spoke at length regarding his battle with depression, and his manager said it’s “an awful thing to have.” Thorpe entered a clinic for treatment earlier this year.
Sydney MP Alex Greenwich praised Thorpe for his courage.
"Australians love their LGBTI friends and family and many will ask why Ian Thorpe coming out is such a big story. But as long as there are laws that say you are less than equal for being gay, this legislated stigma will continue to impact those struggling with their sexuality"
"I hope Ian Thorpe's courage empowers others and sends a strong message that we are everywhere
Gay rights activists added Thorpe’s admission will highlight the unequal marriage laws in Australia, which they say continue to treat gay people as “second class citizens”.
“I hope Australians appreciate the trust and confidence he has placed in us all by revealing he is gay,” said Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome.
"Ian Thorpe's revelation highlights the fact while the law continues to deny gay Australians the dignity, inclusion and equality that comes with being able to marry, it will be harder for them to come out and be comfortable with themselves."
"Nothing has changed about Ian Thorpe. He is still a great Olympian and a great Australian. But what needs to change is an unfair law that treats our greatest Olympic champion as a second class citizen."
How people reacted on Twitter...
.@IanThorpe's coming out is no doubt a huge step forward for him personally, but also for society more broadly. Deserves to be celebrated.— Jason Ball (@jasonball88) July 13, 2014
Dear Thorpey, I admired you as a sportsman, I really liked you when we met - and now I respect you. Out and proud xxx http://t.co/zYgm9stdfn— Maggie Alderson (@MaggieA) July 12, 2014
Australian swimmer and legend Ian Thorpe, who has broken 22 records, just came out. So proud of him, & excited for Australia's future!— Troye Sivan (@troyesivan) July 12, 2014
Congratulations @IanThorpe Thank you for your courage. As an Aussie gal I'm proud of you and love you even more now. Here's to happiness— sarah hanson-young (@sarahinthesen8) July 13, 2014
Ian Thorpe should be waking up today realising he's still our Greatest Swimmer Of All Time. And a legend! End of statement. #onyathorpie— ed phillips (@mr_ed_phillips) July 12, 2014
Anytime is the right time. Welcome as a friend of Dorothy dear Ian #onyathorpie— stereogamous (@stereogamous) July 12, 2014
BREAKING NEWS: Ian Thorpe reveals he is fabulous. #onyathorpie— brock murley (@thebrockmurley) July 12, 2014