New Zealand rower Robbie Manson comes out as gay

RobbieOlympic rower Robbie Manson has come out as gay. Manson, who represented New Zealand at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has spoken about his sexuality publicly for the first time in a blog post published on OutSports. The 25-year-old, who reveals that he came out two years ago to his family and friends, discusses his battle with self-acceptance at length in the blog post - and goes on to explain that he hopes to become a role model to others struggling with their sexuality.

"From an early age I realised that I was different from most other guys. I desperately tried to hide that "different" side of myself," he writes. "In doing so I inadvertently became very quiet and shy, shutting myself off and avoiding attention for fear that someone might discover my deepest, darkest secret: I'm gay."

He continues: "Also, in a strange way, I looked down on other people who were gay, and to a degree felt sorry for them, thinking to be gay was to be 'less than'. I knew I was gay too, and I hated myself because of it. I would get quite depressed about [it]."

Later in his blog post, Manson describes his overwhelming change of opinion about his sexuality since he learned to accept himself, saying: "I feel like my perspective has changed so much and now I'm not only proud to be gay, but I'm glad that I am. I wouldn't want to be any other way. "

He concludes: "There are already a lot of great gay sporting role models, but I hope that my story can add something to what is already out there. To show other people who might be struggling with their sexuality, not only that it's OK to be gay, but it's a good thing, and it won't change who you are or limit what you can achieve." You can read Robbie Manson's full blog post over on Outsports.