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Roberts, Ian (b. 1965)  
 
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Roberts stated in 1997 that he knew of other rugby players who were gay but closeted. He neither condemned them for their choice nor outed them, but said, "I just want to let younger people know that hiding things is not the way to live your life. You don't have to go through that torture."

Shortly after his dramatic coming out, Roberts became involved in a drama of a different kind. He received a telephone call from Arron Light, one of the children he had met during his charity visits to hospitals. Light had kept in touch sporadically, and so Roberts knew that the teen was "a bit of a wild child" who took drugs and had wound up at a boys' home. At the time of the call, Light was on his own and desperate, living in a derelict house with several other young men.

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Roberts took the boy in. He insisted that he stop using drugs, return to school, obey a curfew, and call his parents twice a week.

Some six months later, Roberts was shocked when police informed him that he had been under surveillance because Light had previously been the victim of a ring. The police explained, however, that they knew that Roberts "had played a critical role in providing support for Arron" and hoped that he would be the one person who could convince him to press charges and testify against the men.

Roberts secured Light's cooperation, but after that the boy's behavior changed for the worse: he dropped out of school again, went back to drugs, stole from Roberts, and returned to a life of prostitution on the streets. Eventually he was arrested in Sydney and insisted that the police call Roberts to come and get him. The police were perfectly willing to agree to such an arrangement, but at that point Roberts declined to take further responsibility for the youth. Shortly thereafter, in late 1997, Light went missing.

Four years later, Roberts was devastated to learn that construction workers had discovered Light's body in a shallow grave. The police surmised that he had been stabbed to death a short while after being released from the station.

Roberts deeply regretted not having taken Light in again. "I was the last person that child cared about, and I was the last person to turn my back on him," he said, although, realistically, there is probably little that he could have done to control the young man, who was eighteen at the time.

When Roberts received the call from the Sydney police, he had just moved to Townsville to become the captain of the North Queensland Cowboys of the Super League as well as co-coordinator of league charities. He was unsure how he would be received in the small northeastern city and was pleased by the positive response of his teammates and the community.

Also in 1997 a book about Roberts's experiences and decision to come out, Finding Out, written by Paul Freeman, a friend and the photographer who had taken the pictures that appeared in Blue, was published. "What the book tries to explain," said Roberts, "[is] that there are as many different types of homosexual people as there are variations and types of women, as there are heterosexual men . . . a real cross-section."

Roberts retired from rugby in late 1998 after an illustrious career that included nine appearances for New South Wales in the State of Origin games and thirteen in Test Matches with the national team. After leaving the playing field he continued his association with the sport, serving two seasons on the National Rugby League's judiciary committee, which rules on whether athletes have committed acts of foul play.

Roberts then embarked on a second career by applying to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), whose distinguished graduates include Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush, and Cate Blanchette. He emerged from the highly competitive selection process as one of twenty-six people out of over 1,300 applicants to be accepted for the program in 2000.

As a student he appeared in numerous NIDA stage and film productions, including the short feature All Tomorrow's Parties (2002). The ten-minute film, shot in one take by NIDA students on a very limited budget, won a place at the Cannes Film Festival.

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