Light: The Ian Roberts Story.In it, Roberts 57, talks about his coming out process and how he wishes he actually came out earlier in his career.“Reflecting now, as soon as I started playing for Souths [in 1986], I wish I had come out then,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I wish I had never been in the closet, if that makes sense.”In previous interviews, Roberts has said his sexuality was a poorly kept secret around Australia’s National Rugby League.
While he tried to pass as straight, he dated men and frequented gay nightclubs. “I used to go into clubs or bars. I’d come up with the most fumbling excuses, like it was just for the music,” he said in a 2005 radio interview, as transcribed by Outsports.
In the aforementioned Sydney Morning Herald interview, Roberts says he used to take his boyfriend to functions while he was still closeted. “I think back now and me being gay was the worst-kept secret for five or six years,” he said.
Despite the relative homophobia of the mid ’90s, Roberts says he doesn’t think it would be easier to come out today. 30 years ago, it was much easier to find privacy, even as a public figure.