Ian Thorpe, Australia's most successful
Olympian, revealed in his first interview with gay media that the
pressure to come out gay kept him in the closet.
“I don't think I could have come out
at any other time in my life,” Thorpe told the Star
Observer. “I didn't feel ready.”
Thorpe came out gay in 2014 after years
of denying rumors about his sexuality.
The 33-year-old swimmer said that the
constant scrutiny kept him from going public.
“In being under that kind of
pressure, I had pressure to come out, I feel it made it more
difficult to come out,” Thorpe said.
He added that he's received
“tremendous” support from the LGBT community.
“Once you feel that weight come off,
I also felt I could tackle the world and I was feeling young again
and feeling like I can go out and do anything,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe will host the Bully Project,
an upcoming Australian television documentary about the trauma
bullied kids face.
Young people, Thorpe said, should come
out when they “feel comfortable.”