Ian Thorpe, Australia's most medaled
Olympian, says in a new interview that he wishes he had come out gay
Thorpe, 34, came out gay in 2014 after
years of denying rumors about his sexuality. He is currently in a
relationship with law student and model Ryan Channing.
Thorpe was the subject of this week's
Anh's Brush with Fame, an Australian television series that
features comedian Anh Do, a celebrated artist, painting a portrait of
his guest while interviewing him or her.
“I wish I had come out earlier,”
said. “You know I was [first] accused of being gay when … I
think I was 16 at the time. But because it was kind of like I was
being accused of it, I'd always thought of it as that being a bad
thing. It was really hard for me to tell my closest friends and
Thorpe added that he thought that
passing marriage equality in Australia is “important.”
“I think it's important for it to
happen now,” he said.
“I know what it was like to grow up
as a young person, like a second-class citizen, feeling as though
what I'm doing is wrong. That's what's implied when you don't have
the same kinds of rights as other people,” Thorpe said.