In an interview with Sir Michael Parkinson that is due to air tonight, it is being reported that Ian Thorpe has admitted that he is gay after many years of speculation. This is being met with ridicule on social media as everyone collectively says “finally”. Yes, we all thought he was for a long time and hoped that he would come out eventually we need to remember that coming out is very different for everyone. A lot of young guys these days are coming out at school but not everyone has the confidence, security or the freedom to do that.

Ian has been in the public eye since he was a teenager and in his own words was being accused of being gay before he knew who he was himself. Sure he’s been very vocal about how straight he is but when the media is hounding you about it for years and you stand to lose millions in endorsements, you’d be defensive as well.

In recent times Thorpe has been in treatment for depression and allegedly also looked like he was suffering permanent injuries. As a former elite athlete that is a very hard road to travel. Add to that constant speculation about sexuality which he may not have been comfortable with himself and he must have been on an emotional rollercoaster. I hope that his coming out, if indeed he does in this interview, takes a huge burden off his shoulders and gives him room to smile again.