Ian Thorpe ‘Comes Out’ and Why It’s Still Hard To Come Out

Spoiler alert: Tonight (in Australia), a Michael Parkinson interview with former gold medallist Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe will be televised at 6PM. And, according to blogger/ columnist Andrew Bolt, Thorpe admits that he is gay, despite denying it in the past.

Bolt goes on to say that it shouldn’t be an issue. But for thousands of people who are anything other than cisgender and straight ( including myself as an asexual), it’s still hard to not identify as straight. In fact, an incident in the AFL where a player was called the P word, made Thorpe even more reluctant to come out.

i have said before that I get why people are asking what the big deal is and have also argued strongly that, whether we like to admit it or not, homophobia/ bi phobia and Trans phobia are still common. The asexual community still deals with ridicule, invisibility, and at worst, violence. I do applaud Bolt’s attitude though. It would be nice if it was actually the case. It’s just not the reality… dare I say it… yet.

i would like for both the freedom to both come out to everyone without issue and also to not feel the need to come out. I would love for it to not bring uncertainty and fear for people who want to come out. I just honestly think we’re not there yet.

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Diversity Exists… So Does Discrimination

 

CONTEXT: On this episode of the show Studio10, they were discussing accusations that controversial columnist, blogger and TV host Andrew Bolt made about Sydney Swans player and Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes for being divisive in his speech. As Joe Hilderbrand said in the clip, the perception is that Bolt would prefer it if we could just be united and not be separated by labels, including race (he has also added sexuality to the list on “One Plus One”).

Now, I read his columns and blog pretty regularly as well as watch his show and, from what  I have seen and read of his, I take his word that he isn’t homophobic or racist. On this issue, though, I disagree with him on the  “melting pot” theory.

People, especially children and teenagers know almost by instinct, whether they fit in or not. In the context of sexuality, for example, when twelve or thirteen year – olds start noticing the opposite sex, people who don’t usually know it ( strangely for me, it was a few years later). In that situation, you can ‘t just become part of a “melting pot” and pretend that it doesn’t exist. It’s impossible to truly fit in, when in reality you don’t, whether it’S because of your ethnicity, you ‘re disabilities, your gender identity or sexuality. Differences can’t always be ignored, and if at all, only for a very limited time.

Secondly – discrimination – it exists in Australia, even if we don’t want to admit the extent to which it goes on (I should point out that Bolt says that racism does exist in Australia, but argues that Australia isn’t a “racist nation”. He says he doesn’t condone it either). However, does it occur here more than we like to admit? I have heard to that the Aboriginal youth, along with LGBT youth, are over represented in youth suicide statistics. Note: Like I’ve said before, I get  suicide is often complicated, but it makes you wonder.

Discrimination exists and it hurts. And it isn’t a successful way to force someone to assimilate. Let’s acknowledge that discrimination exists, accept that diversity exists, let’s learn from what we know happened in the past and try to move forward.