Nobody knows better than Ian Thorpe that Australia is a homophobic nation. He thought the Australian people and his parents would be disappointed to discover one of their best athletes was gay. Now he needs to know that we couldn't care less.
Parkinson asked Thrope "You've always said that you're not gay, that your sexual experiences have been with women, is all of that
Mum, his greatest fan
And then he said it. ".......I'm not straight and this is something that very recently - we're talking in the past two weeks - I've been comfortable telling the closest people around me...I'm pleased to say in telling them, especially my parents, they love me and support me."
Dad, Ken Thorpe
He began taking anti-depressants at the age of 18 but kept it from his family and swim team. "I knew I was a little different but there were times when I just wasn't happy....it was this lethargy that followed me that I didn't understand and with all those achievements, I didn't understand why I wasn't completely over the moon."
When the anti-depressants weren't enough, he turned to alcohol and things went from bad to worse.
This is a tragic story of a lovely, soft bloke who cared too much about what people thought, especially his parents. He was ashamed of being homosexual so he invented a lie that got bigger and bigger until it finally crushed him. He tried to fight it, but it made him mentally ill.
But there's no reason to be sad anymore Thorpie, you're finally out and it's okay.