Why Ian Thorpe had to come out

by rodney on July 14, 2014

ian-thorpeFinally after years of speculation Ian Thorpe has finally come out as a gay man.  While a lot of people are publicly congratulating him, there are many out there who question the importance of what’s happened.

This is important and not just because of the hope and inspiration it gives to other young gay people who are struggling with their sexuality, but it is important for Ian as well.

Hiding his sexuality for as long as he has, has taken its toll. He has long battled depression for which he has spent time in psychiatric units, taken medication and even tried to self -medicate with alcohol.  This is because keeping secrets and hiding parts of yourself are more examples of emotional baggage.

Holding onto this kind of baggage causes stress and pressure. In order to keep hiding, people have to constantly lie and remember their lies so that don’t trip themselves up.  This is also why a lot of people who commit crimes sometimes find relief when they are caught.

Here are 3 things you need to do so you can get rid of your secret baggage.

Be honest with yourself

Often when we lie about ourselves, we often start to believe our own lies. This makes it easier for us to lie, because we believe the lies. We have to be honest with ourselves. Honesty and acceptance is the first part to resolving your issues.

Work out a safe plan

Many people who keep these kinds of secrets do so because they don’t feel safe enough to be honest. Like many gay people, Ian Thorpe didn’t feel like it was safe enough to come out, fearing judgement and backlash.  You need to find a way to reveal your secrets in a safe manner. Identify who you can talk to who won’t judge you or make it otherwise unsafe for you. If you can’t think of anyone who you feel safe with, consider seeing a professional counsellor.

Work your safe plan

Once you know who you can talk to, go and have an open and honest conversation. Make sure you choose your time and place wisely. The sooner you can finally be honest and talk the better, this will take the pressure off and reduce your stress. You’ll feel better and live longer.

Suicide amongst the gay population is higher than the straight population. One of the main reasons for this is the pressure caused by the pressure of holding onto this baggage.  By following these 3 steps, you too can let go of your secrets and in turn let go of the pressure.

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