I is for:
Ian Roberts Community icon. NIDA graduate. Reality television contestant. Aspiring Hollywood star. When Ian Roberts came out while still a professional rugby player in 1995, he won immediate pin-up status among gay fans sadly short of out sporting icons.
The former rugby league international has stayed in the spotlight through a series of intriguing career choices. A stint at NIDA a few years back surprised some, who were sceptical of the thickset Roberts’s acting prowess.
Roberts himself was more confident, telling the Star in 2003 his rugby background was the perfect preparation. Sport’s only theatre anyway. It’s another form of theatre.
He has since had minor roles in films including Little Fish and recent Hollywood blockbuster Superman Returns . He’s also tried his hand at reality TV, finishing second in Dancing With The Stars last year despite being told he danced like a building.
Roberts’s appearance in a Sydney court last month for allegedly assaulting his boyfriend didn’t help his public image (the case is due to be heard again next week), but his career plans remain on track. Roberts’s next move is said to be to Los Angeles and the bright lights of Hollywood.
Ice skating Ever since US figure skating champion Rudy Galindo remarked to reporters, on winning the US title in 1996: I’m an openly gay trailer-trash Mexican-trash Mexican.
How could they not love me? ice-skating has been the home of camp commentary in sport. At the Turin Winter Olympics this year, US figure skater Johnny Weir took up where Galindo left off, except for the openly gay part.
Weir thrilled press conferences with gems that later became known as Weirisms, like -“ on his famous Swan costume, featuring a single red glove -“ His name is Camille -“ two Ls. I think he’s my evil side. When I skate badly, I blame it on my glove.
And, on his unique sense of fashion: Is the writer from USA Today here? That was a scarf, not a boa. Dead chinchilla, not feathers.
From the costumes to the over-the-top choreography, figure skating is as camp as sport comes. Surprising then, that there are so few openly gay athletes competing at an elite level, not to mention the International Skating Union’s refusal to allow members to compete in same-sex events.
But, as they did in Sydney 2002, the organisers of this year’s Gay Games and Outgames pressed on with the competition anyway and, from all reports, figure skating was one of the highlights of this year’s queer sporting calendar.