Ian Thorpe is Gay, who cares.

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Ian Thorpe is Gay, who cares.

Ian Thorpe finally came out last week after years of speculation about his sexuality. The response has been largely positive with the exception of a few trolls. My own response was “meh, it’s old news now who cares”. Years of  “is Thorpie Gay?” fatigue had resulted in me not caring very much one way or another, his business was his own and nobody had the right to force him out.

 After so long does it matter now if he comes out or not?

Yes it matters, it matters a lot. It matters to kids still looking for heroes. It matters to LGBT people living in the closet afraid to come out. It matters to young athletes afraid to be out in their sport, above all this when we are kind to ourselves, when we are true to ourselves it matters.

To those people who are lamenting about what Ian didn’t do, didn’t come out earlier, didn’t stand up for the community, didn’t do it before he retired, blah blah blah, you are missing something very important. When you listen to what he has to say, his struggles sound just like the same ones LGBT people are dealing with everyday; fear of letting people down, fear of losing family and friends and fear of disappointing loved ones.

The word hero gets thrown around pretty cheaply nowadays. Real heroes are not people who seek fame. Real heroes are unassuming; they have the title thrust upon them when they do not seek it.

Courage makes a hero, the courage to face your demons, to fight on. Courage is to be true to yourself, to be kind, to be just and to face your flaws. Ian Thorpe is a hero not only by popular acclaim but by the journey he has set himself upon to be true to himself.

Happiness and Abundance to you Thorpie.