Ian Roberts | Magazines | News | Rugby | Sports

Rugby Icon Ian Roberts Battled Slurs with Kisses


Gay rugby icon-turned-actor Ian Roberts is looking fantastic in the pages of the upcoming "Sex" issue of The Advocate, where he's featured in a cover story.

Ianroberts2_2Roberts discusses the difficulties of breaking into Hollywood, and goes into great detail about his recently-wrapped up involvement in trials surrounding the murder of gay teen Arron Light, which I've posted about here extensively.

Roberts also discusses his coming out in 1995, which was prompted by a "degrading" article in an Australian tabloid:

"I enjoyed the actual moment. It was empowering to be out. All the confusion that had been part of my life suddenly vanished. When the whole world knew I was gay, I wasn't angry anymore. It's a whole clash about what it means to be a man, about masculinity. People would say, 'You must be the exception to the rule [of what gay men are like]. You don't swish around, you're not a cross-dresser.'"

Also noted is the strategy he used when fans would shout "faggot" or "cocksucker" from the stands. He'd return the slurs with a wink, or something more direct:

"If anything, I took it as a compliment. If they were, by any chance, cute, I'd give them a cute kiss at some point during the game. It became a rugby league story—if you got kissed by me on the field, you weren't half bad to look at."

The issue hits newsstands on July 17th.

You may have missed...
Ian Roberts Cleared of Assaulting Ex-Boyfriend [tr]
'Big, cuddly softie' Ian Roberts in Court on Assault Charge [tr]
Ian Roberts Testifies About Murdered Friend [tr]
Gay Rugby Icon Ian Roberts in Superman Returns [tr]
Gay Rugby Icon Ian Roberts Testifies About Abuse [tr]

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  1. I CANNOT believe that Ian Roberts actually reads this site! That is SO cool. I thought this site was strictly for total geeks like me.

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jul 13, 2007 3:14:09 PM

  2. Tee, hee. That's so funny.

    Actually, it's this kind of shit that makes me want Mike to somehow verify that people are using valid email addresses.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 13, 2007 3:45:45 PM

  3. iroberts@aol.com fake email.

    Posted by: Landis | Jul 13, 2007 4:12:21 PM

  4. Hey!!! Whoever left that earlier post claiming to be Ian Roberts is an imposter!

    I am the real Ian Roberts. I would never have admitted to committing that assault on this site! What do you take me for?? Some meathead like the rest of you.

    Truly yours, the real Ian Roberts.

    Posted by: Ian Roberts | Jul 13, 2007 4:12:42 PM

  5. Landis,

    Why are you such a hater? Ian Roberts is a personal friend of mine and I can confirm to everyone here that iroberts@aol.com is his real email address. ("Landis" is clearly not your real name judging from your email address.) Everyone on this site should use their real birth name like I do.

    Tony the Tiger.

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jul 13, 2007 4:15:37 PM

  6. As the author of the article, “Meet Ian Roberts,” which is currently being discussed on this site, I’m thrilled at the buzz it’s clearly already generating.

    While I’m delighted by the positive comments about Ian’s courage (and of course his terrific photographs), the negative ones are perplexing, if ultimately fairly typical of a certain type of bitchy queen who has been rejected, more than once, by big, strong, unattainable men, and who never pass up the chance to trash one when they can do it anonymously on a blog.

    Yes, girlfriend, it’s very sad that the captain of the captain of your highschool football team flushed your head in the toilet, or locked you in your locker in highschool. Here’s a Kleenex...come here and have a hug. And while I agree taking catty personal shots that the average 13 year old girl would be embarrassed to put on her MySpace page is cheaper than therapy, highschool was a long time ago, and it might be time to deal with unresolved issues—highschool was a long, long time ago.

    And as for this terrible need to impress us all by inserting yourselves in Ian Roberts’ story [ie: “I’ve met him in person twice and...blah, blah, blah” or “I see him from time to time in West Hollywood and...blah, blah, blah”], yes Mary, we get it. You’re so A-list and in-the-know it makes our eyes water. You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are! Now, run along and make sure you aren’t late for your shift at Cinnabon.

    It’s wonderful to read posts by people who have enough class and respect to recognize that Ian Roberts is a real person, and sites like this are read by him, his partner, his friends, and his family. As the first and only elite male athlete to come out while still playing his sport—arguably the toughest and most macho sport extant—and then keep playing it as an out gay man, I believe his courage might warrant more than sour, bitchy one-liners from people hiding behind untraceable screen names, people for whom courage is the one accessory they’ve never managed to master.

    I don’t imagine that the authors of the catty posts will bother to actually read the article (nothing about their posting style suggests that they read much of anything) but for the others, I hope that you do.

    Ian’s story is an extraordinary one, a story of courage, compassion, personal decency, and a relentless search for honesty in the face of a world, and a sport, that would have preferred him to keep his head down, and remain in the closet. In twenty years of interviewing, I’ve rarely encountered a story as powerful as his. It was a privilege to write. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    And yes, he’s SMOKING hot. :-)

    Michael Rowe

    Posted by: Michael Rowe | Jul 13, 2007 4:18:44 PM


    If Ian Roberts is the wonderful person you describe in your post (which I am sure he is) he will be deeply offended by your attempt to characterize the people making these posts as freaks and geeks. Your post displays the kind of vapid snobbery which clearly Ian Roberts does not embrace. I think Ian would be ashamed to be associated with you after reading all the nasty things you put in your post (if that is really your post). GET A LIFE.

    Tony the Tiger

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jul 13, 2007 4:28:14 PM

  8. hey you know what? I directed the movie he's in and i can tell you a couple things - 1) he's a helluva guy and one of the warmest, most real and most gracious human beings I know and 2) the earlier post with its rather sleazy suggestion of impropriety is the exact reason why we, as gay men, are never going to graduate beyond being considered 15 year old girls. Having said that, I don't give a rat's ass what you people babble about on this website (Tony I don't know what you're smoking but i hope you brought enough for the whole class) as long as you show up for the movie! Ron Oliver. PS - Michael Rowe MAY be a snob, but he is not a VAPID snob!!

    Posted by: Ron Oliver | Jul 13, 2007 4:37:42 PM

  9. "I like a nice tube sock on a man"

    Posted by: Jason | Jul 13, 2007 4:41:26 PM

  10. Mike: where have you been the past ten years? Outer Mongolia?? There is nothing unusual about the posts here--it's standard stuff for forums--I'm sure Ian's heard much worse (speaking of Kleenex). You expect only fawning silliness? Great job selling your story. Stick with an editor, don't fly solo.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jul 13, 2007 4:45:24 PM

  11. I was the doctor who delivered him when he was born, and I can tell you he was a great baby. Hardly ever cried.

    Posted by: chrisb | Jul 13, 2007 4:45:28 PM


    The last time I checked each issue of the Advocate was thinner than a patch of toilet paper with much less substance. Noone even advertises in it. (As most of you probably already know the Advocate's parent company is almost bankrupt, thanks to mismanagement at OUT Magazine, and is taking the Advocate down with it.) Having Ian Roberts on the cover is pretty much a death knell I suppose. It used to be a political magazine with important news information but its association with Out Magazine has brought it down to Out Magazine's level. (The Advocate turned itself into another fluff magazine and in the process destroyed itself.) Perhaps Ian Robert's Cover on Advocate will be its last issue before Advocate goes belly up in which case it would be a nice collector's item!!!

    Posted by: Tony the Tiger | Jul 13, 2007 4:47:21 PM

  13. Tony the Tiger.

    Not a hater. Just pointing out the facts.

    And by the way, Tony you claimed to be a doctor in a previous argument with me. Later on, you claim to be a lawyer. Who's the fake now?

    Landis is OF COURSE an alias. Duh. I'm bored.

    Posted by: Landis | Jul 13, 2007 4:51:26 PM

  14. btw, i tested out the iroberts@aol email address 0.5 hour ago (killing time after a big project), it does not exist.

    Posted by: Landis | Jul 13, 2007 4:52:33 PM

  15. chrisB -- you are my hero. that's the funniest thing i've read all day -- and I'm reading comedy scripts! RO

    Posted by: ron Oliver | Jul 13, 2007 4:53:11 PM

  16. I am changing the name I use to post to Landis.

    LANDIS (formerly tony the tiger)

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jul 13, 2007 4:55:03 PM

  17. IS IAN ROBERTS STILL ONLINE? (He posted earlier.) I think he should settle this argument because it is of course all about him.

    Posted by: john mcarren | Jul 13, 2007 5:03:27 PM

  18. Are we done with this post? I am not sure whether it is time to move on to the next one.

    LANDIS (formerly Tony the Tiger)*

    *former title for transition period only

    Posted by: LANDIS | Jul 13, 2007 5:28:11 PM

  19. you tragic bitter queens are beyond pathetic. Get out of your parents' basement and stop jerking off to his pic while trying to tear him down at the same time.

    Posted by: Laughing | Jul 13, 2007 5:50:58 PM

  20. what is so tragic about being a "bitter queen"? I like quite content being a bitter queen. I would much rather be bitter than happy.

    LANDIS (formerly tony the tiger)

    Posted by: LANDIS | Jul 13, 2007 5:56:18 PM

  21. I saw IR interviewed in the UK some years ago and I must say, he came across as a very nice, natural, unaffected, well- adjusted, honest and modest guy. It was those qualities that I found attractive rather then just the way he looked.

    Posted by: atheist | Jul 13, 2007 6:09:40 PM

  22. Michael, I share your point of view regarding the knee jerk reaction of many gay men when confronted with the celebrity of a muscular, masculine gay role model.

    But I also have to agree with another comment that points out that the remarks here are typical of almost any forum on any subject: gay, straight, etc. Flames and trolls are just the collateral damage we have to put up with on the Internet. And the negative comments here were few compared to the positive ones and even the negative ones were tame compared to what I've seen on other threads.

    I'm sure Ian has a thick skin. He couldn't have weathered the storm of coming out in a macho sport if he didn't. Mean queens are probably the least difficult personalities he's had to deal with.

    Posted by: mark m | Jul 13, 2007 6:29:37 PM

  23. As for his looks... handsome and sexy don't always go hand in hand. I've seen plenty of handsome men who had ZERO sexual charisma and quite a few men like Ian who weren't conventionally handsome, but had tons of sex appeal.

    I'll take the latter, thanks.

    Posted by: mark m | Jul 13, 2007 6:32:28 PM

  24. Sure Ian was a hottie back in the day of the Blue magazine shoot, but now ?

    Anyone see him on Dancing with the stars ? What a shame ... what an uncoordinated clumsy simpering crybaby .......long gone is the hot rugby playing man ...sadly

    Posted by: carlos | Jul 13, 2007 7:17:09 PM

  25. Yum what nice legs!

    Posted by: Travis | Jul 13, 2007 7:44:32 PM

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