In the late 80s and early 90s, the AIDS epidemic fueled mass hysteria and fear surrounding gay people. Former pro Australian basketball player Trevor Torrance was at the peak of his career during this time, and it was untenable for him to publicly come out. However, with the start of 2023, Torrance is finally free to be himself, as he recently came out as gay in an interview posted on his former team’s social media pages.
Despite the secrecy, Torrance believes that his teammates always knew about his sexuality but never treated him differently. There was widespread misinformation about HIV/AIDS and gay people, and Torrance faced abuse due to the environment of fear and stigma surrounding the disease.
Now 56 years old, Torrance is happily married to his partner, and the world is a much more accepting place, including in sports. In the NBL, there is even an active out gay player, forward Isaac Humphries, who publicly came out last year, helping spur the league’s first ever Pride Round.
Though some NBL players have refused to wear their LGBTQ Pride jerseys, Torrance prefers to focus on the positive and celebrates the progress that has been made. He recognizes the immense power in telling his story and is grateful for the opportunity to come out, even though he has been out for some time in his private life.
“I’m pleased that we’re in a world now where it’s celebrated, embraced, and it’s not stigmatized necessarily in sports,” said Torrance.