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Roberts, Ian (b. 1965)  
 
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Roberts made his television début in 2003 on the Australian series White Collar Blue, in which he played the muscle-man for a crime boss.

Roberts was to have had his first appearance in a commercial film in Eucalyptus, a Russell Crowe-Nicole Kidman vehicle that wound up being scrubbed. With the demise of the project, he signed on with Dancing with the Stars, one of the country's most highly-rated television shows. Somewhat improbably, Roberts and his partner, Natalie Lowe, reached the finals in April 2005.

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Paul Malone of the Courier-Mail noted that "the scorn of one or two of the show's judges towards Roberts's good-spirited efforts during the series have been ill-concealed," but the audience loved him, and their phone-in votes kept him on the show as the eventual runner-up. Roberts called the experience "a wondrous journey because of the public vote."

Roberts will make his feature-film début in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, scheduled for release in the summer of 2006. The handsome actor will play Riley, one of villain Lex Luthor's sidekicks.

Roberts has a tattoo on each of his extremely muscular arms. One represents his awareness of and commitment to the need to help others: "24,000 people die every day of starvation." The second is more personal: "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived." By having the courage to come out as a gay professional athlete, Roberts conquered his own fear, went on to great success, and stands as an example to those still plagued by fear.

"All I can do is to be the best person I can be, take responsibility for my own actions. If you do that, you make a statement," he said. "Hopefully one day everybody can appreciate that love is love in whatever form it comes along."

Linda Rapp

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   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  Australian Film

The recent efflorescence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer themes in Australian film must be placed in the context of a film industry that, prior to the 1970s, was characterized by social conservatism and censorship.

arts >> Overview:  Australian Television

Despite some important breakthroughs in the depiction of gay men and lesbians in the past, Australian television today lacks any regular and open discussion of queer issues and lives.

social sciences >> Overview:  Australia

Given its history, it is somewhat surprising that Australia now has exceptionally gay-friendly laws and public attitudes, with widespread public tolerance and acceptance of the glbtq community.

arts >> Overview:  Sports: Gay Male

While sports, at least on the major competitive level, may be the final closet for gay men, there have nevertheless been a number of gay male elite athletes.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sydney

With thriving glbtq communities, an accommodating atmosphere, and a mammoth Mardi Gras celebration, Sydney is a center of glbtq culture and a favorite destination for tourists of all genders and sexualities.

arts >> Amaechi, John

Closeted throughout his professional basketball career, John Amaechi is the first player from the National Basketball Association to acknowledge that he is gay; since coming out, he has become an eloquent spokesman for glbtq rights.

social sciences >> Kirby, Michael

Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, is respected not only for his legal acumen but also for his devoted commitment to the cause of social justice in his homeland and also around the globe.

arts >> Kowalski, Daniel

Australian Olympic medalist Daniel Kowalski remained closeted during his competitive swimming career but found the courage to come out publicly in 2010.

arts >> Mitcham, Matthew

Out gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham earned the highest score in the history of the sport on his final dive in the ten-meter platform event at the 2008 Olympic Games.

arts >> Pallone, Dave

Major league umpire Dave Pallone was outed and forced out of professional baseball; since leaving the game he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.

arts >> Singer, Bryan

Film director and producer Bryan Singer overturns standard narrative formulae and develops complex characters; he consistently emphasizes the fluidity and ambiguity of identity categories, including those pertaining to gender and sexuality.

arts >> Thomas, Gareth

Acclaimed Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas is among the small number of professional athletes who have found the courage to come out as gay at the height of their careers.


    Bibliography
   

Green, Brad. "A New Wardrobe in Ian's Closet." Cafe Society 24 (May 2002): www.timbomb.net/ian/cafe-society.html

"Interview with Ian Roberts." Australian Story (September 26, 2005): www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2005/s1468762.htm

Jamrozik, Wanda. "A Question of Heart." Weekend Australian (July 15, 1995).

Malone, Paul. "League Star Steps up for the Dance of His Life." Courier-Mail (Queensland, Australia) (April 20, 2005): 17.

McAsey, Jenny. "Playing with Pride." The Australian (June 2, 1997): 12.

Roberts, Ian. "Naughty Boy Who Turned Raging Bull." Daily Telegraph (Sydney) (May 26, 1997): 22.

Walton, B. "Ian Roberts: Out with the Truth." Sunday Mail (Queensland, Australia) (May 25, 1997): 66.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Roberts, Ian  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated March 8, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/roberts_i.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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