Gus Johnston

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Gus Johnston
Born (1979-05-19) 19 May 1979 (age 39)
OccupationCreative Director

Gus Johnston (born 19 May 1979 in Melbourne, Victoria) is a Creative Director, filmmaker, anti-homophobia campaigner and former field hockey goalkeeper from Australia, who publicly outed himself as gay in 2011 via a confronting YouTube video entitled "Gus Johnston: The reality of homophobia in sport".[1] The video was brought to broader public attention via Australian and world news and media outlets,[2][3][4][5][6] including a story on the ABC's 7:30 program.[7]

A former scholarship holder at the Victorian Institute of Sport, Johnston retired from field hockey at the end of 2010, but continues to do work in the sporting community, fighting against homophobia in sport[8][9] and for the betterment of youth mental health in Australia.[10]


Johnston graduated from St Michael's Grammar School in 1996. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Advertising) at RMIT University, Melbourne in 1999. He currently works as a Creative Director in the Advertising Industry and is the Co-Founder of Digital Pigeon.


Johnston is also an Ambassador to Headspace, Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation.[11]

Headspace is a youth mental health initiative established by the Australian government in 2006. The project is funded by the Department of Health and Ageing under the Youth Mental Health Initiative Program. Johnston has been an Ambassador to the organisation since 2011.

Out 100[edit]

In 2012, the U.S publication Out Magazine named Johnston in their annual 'Out 100'.[12][13][14] Highlighting the top 100 most compelling gay men and women from across the globe, Out Magazine stated at the time, of Johnston's inclusion, "Poignant and honest, the Australian field hockey goalie created one of the most complex, truthful assessments of homophobia in sports and the potential to overcome it."[15]

No To Homophobia[edit]

Johnston is a Community Champion of the Australian anti-homophobia campaign No To Homophobia,[16] which launched late in 2012.[17] At the campaign launch in the State Parliament House of Victoria, Johnston made a speech[18][19] in which he stated "As a gay man, I'm ashamed to say I've been complicit in homophobic behaviour. For 20 years I played hockey at an elite level here in Victoria. I represented and even captained my State for many years, held a scholarship with the Victorian Institute of Sport and played over 200 State League One games for my club Essendon. But in that time, not once did I stand up for what I believed in. For who I am. When the people around me behaved in a homophobic way, I dipped my head. I said nothing. I fell silent."[20]

Fair Go, Sport![edit]

Fair Go, Sport! is an initiative of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Australian Sports Commission, designed to promote gender and sexual diversity in sport.[21] In 2010 Hockey Victoria became the pilot sport to partner with the program.[22] Championing the cause, Johnston became an ambassador for the initiative in 2012, which saw 650 individual team captains across the state of Victoria wear rainbow socks to promote inclusion in sport.[23]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Gus Johnston: The reality of homophobia in sport". YouTube. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Playing it straight". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  3. ^ "A silence so loud it screams". The Age. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Pots, parmas and coming out: a lesson in understanding". The National Times. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Hockey star Gus Johnston's emotional coming out video". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Aussie field hockey star Gus Johnston comes out in video". Outsports. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Hockey champion breaks silence on sexuality". The ABC. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Gus Johnston: Speaking out against homophobia in sport". SX News. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Grandstand". ABC Australia. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Headspace welcomes six new ambassadors". Headspace Australia. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Headspace welcomes six new ambassadors". Headspace Australia. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  12. ^ "Out 100 2012". Out Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Out 100: Gus Johnston". Out Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Johnston makes top US list". Star Observer. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Out 100: Gus Johnston". Out Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  16. ^ "No To Homophobia Community Champions". No To Homophobia. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  17. ^ "No Homophobia Campaign Launch". SBS Australia. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  18. ^ "New Ads Combat Homophobia". Same Same. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  19. ^ "No To Homophobia". Headspace Australia. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  20. ^ "No To Homophobia". Headspace Australia. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Fair Go, Sport!". Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Fair Go, Sport!" (PDF). Hockey Victoria. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Hockey clubs sport rainbows". Star Observer. Retrieved 25 July 2012.