I feel for Ian Thorpe.
Some of us know within our being who we are from the moment we recognise our own existence as small children.
Some of us make this discovery on our journey through life and suddenly feel an overwhelming completeness and find our souls finally at ease.
Some of us are surrounded by family who accept us regardless of our permutations and combinations.
Some find ourselves among like and feel right at home and safe.
Some find ourselves among friends who value us for who we are, how we behave and for what we bring to their lives.
But some find ourselves completely isolated either by friends and/or family and/or even by ourselves and the values we have been exposed to and developed.
We are tortured by the notion of who we are just because of who we find ourselves attracted to.
Some of us find ourselves gently opening up the closet door and peering out waiting for a safe time to come out.
Some of us let some people into our closet but still remain reluctant to step out.
Some of us fling the closet wide open saying here I am and to hell with anyone who thinks I don’t belong.
Some of us are dragged out kicking and screaming at a time not of our choosing.
Some of us don’t survive.
There is no magic way of knowing, there are no rules for how, when or why to come out. We are all individuals with our own environments within which to navigate our sexuality in a world where there are still strong prejudices to maneuver through. It is not necessarily clear who is friend or foe; who will stand with you or who will drop you in an instant. Whether you have the strength to survive it or not?
For years we have hounded Ian because his celebrity (apparently) gives us some right to be part of every moment of his life.
Some right to be in his bedroom.
Have you ever heard the media ask a celebrity ‘are you straight?’
Now we have been titillated by commercials from the ‘tell all’ of the final honest answering of the question ‘are you gay?’ The manipulation of the Ian’s answering of the question in the commercials; making it look as though he is pained and loathed to once again answer this intrusive question. This manipulation couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Ian gave us glimpse into the environment within which he has had to ‘come (out) of age’. I say to you Ian – good on you! For what it is worth you have my support. Your story adds to the richness of the many ways of knowing, being and becoming the individuals that we are.