Matthew Mitcham is an Australian diver. He is the 2008 Olympic champion in the 10 m platform, having received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. He is the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics.
When recently asked about coming out at 14, Mitcham admitted that he was bullied at school but adds, “I was just so open with [my sexuality] that everybody knew. It was … no fun to call somebody a homo who really is a homo.”
“Only when I wasn’t totally honest and open about it to myself or to other people,” he said. “When you hide that kind of thing, other people can sense you’re uncomfortable. They can see that as a weakness and use it as a target to bully you. That was the case when I was quite young and only just realising I was gay. Society teaches you that gay is not as good as straight, you grow up with those ideas in your head, and you punish yourself. You try and deny it, or wait it out, or change it. But it wasn’t until I was totally honest about it all that it wasn’t a problem. I wish I could tell everyone that and that they could just do it, to get rid of this shit, this anguish that comes with it. But that would be irresponsible of me because there are external factors for people — their family, their religion, the laws of their country.”
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