Ian Thorpe, the openly gay swimming champion from Australia, is finding it easier to win Olympic gold medals than find a boyfriend. He says the gay dating scene is an "absolute mess."
In an interview in the Sunday Style section in Australia, Thorpe reflected on his dating experiences since he came out:
"Dating’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s an absolute mess out there! I’m like, ‘Where are all the normal people?’ I’ve never really dated, so I’ve come in being almost completely blindsided by this.
"I think if someone puts an effort into a date, then full points — it’s not like I’m a hard marker. But there are some nut cases. It’s just a bit weird. But that’s the dating scene — I say it and I laugh and I’ve got a smile on my face, so it’s not that bad. I’ve mostly met great guys but, occasionally, I’ve met a couple of douche-y guys as well. It’s enough motivation for me to want to settle down with someone away from that scene."
What Thorpe says is not a news flash to anyone who is single and looking, gay or straight. He says he has been on some second and third dates but nothing has clicked. He does not a long-distance relationship and is looking for someone in Australia.
In the extensive interview, Thorpe is very revealing how about his early denials about being gay made it even harder to finally come out. The lie became the basis of his identity.
"Because it was always put to me in a kind of accusatory tone that it's a bad thing, I thought ‘I don't know how I'm supposed to respond, as a child and then as an adult, to this.' That was the problem - I was asked when I was far too young and then my response was ‘I'm not'.
"Then I didn't want to change the lie. It makes it very difficult. I felt like I'd betrayed people by being dishonest about it. But it's done now."
Thorpe realizes that his coming out has had an impact. "I wish someone had explained that to me a lot earlier. I probably would have come out earlier if I realized." he said. "I didn't think it was relevant, I didn't think it mattered. But it does."
The whole interview is worth a read and it's great to see Thorpe now gets why it's important for athletes to come out.