Steve Irwin’s son Robert has grown up in the public eye. You may have wondered about his sexuality and who he’s dated. Let’s take a deeper look at the evidence.
Here’s a quick answer:
While some past clues led to speculation, Steve Irwin’s son Robert has not publicly identified as anything but straight. He appears in a committed relationship with girlfriend Rorie Buckey. Ultimately, Robert’s sexuality remains private unless he chooses to share it. Either way, his admirable animal conservation efforts continue his family’s positive legacy.
Robert’s Early Relationships
As a teenager figuring himself out, Robert was occasionally spotted with girls. Photos surfaced in 2020 of Robert biking with a fan named Elisha. Some wondered if they were dating, but that connection seemed to fade.
An animal activist named Emmy Perry also drew attention for her flirty Instagram comments on Robert’s posts. But again, nothing official emerged. Robert was likely just exploring different friendships.
The Rorie Buckey Relationship
In 2023, Robert finally went public with a girlfriend—Rorie Buckey, niece of late actor Heath Ledger. They attended a movie premiere together in Sydney as a couple.
Rorie later posted an adorable Instagram photo with Robert, which his sister Bindi liked. This suggests the Irwin family approves of Rorie.
As Robert and Rorie both work at the Australia Zoo with wildlife, they likely bonded over those shared passions. Their social media profiles indicate Rorie sometimes joins Robert while he tracks or feeds animals.
So Rorie seems to be Robert’s first serious romance. Could he still identify as gay or bisexual? Possibly, but he is currently in a public heterosexual relationship.
Why Some Speculated Robert Was Gay
Certain aspects of Robert’s persona set off occasional “gaydar” checks in the past. But these stem more from stereotypes than factual evidence.
For starters, Robert’s highly passionate about animals and conservation. While caring for creatures does require empathy, this passion does not inherently indicate queerness. Plenty of straight men dedicate their lives to animal welfare too.
Additionally, some comment on Robert’s decent fashion sense and well-groomed hair. But again, an eye for style or personal aesthetics says little about sexual preferences or identity. Critics once similarly and unfairly assumed his dad Steve Irwin was gay for wearing khaki shorts every day.
Lisa Wilkinson’s Interview
In 2017, an interview Robert Irwin did with Lisa Wilkinson raised some additional questions.
During the conversation, Lisa pointed out that at 13 years old, Robert hadn’t had a girlfriend yet. Robert responded honestly that he hadn’t, as he was “just so busy” with his work at the zoo.
Lisa admitting to then wanting to set Robert up with her daughter, assumedly to give him a social boost. However, this imply Robert needed help meeting girls rather than already being on track finding romantic interests organically.
So while likely meant as a gesture of support, this exchange positioned Robert as awkward or immature compared to peers. It also reinforced the expectation that adolescents should actively pursue heterosexual relationships—a standard not always inclusive for LGBTQ+ youth still exploring their orientation.
Why Identifying as LGBTQ+ Can Be Hard
Reflecting on all this, it is admittedly difficult for anyone to publicly identify as LGBTQ+ before they feel ready. Despite immense progress, prejudices sadly still exist. Coming out remains extremely personal.
Hypothetically, if Robert were anything but straight, maybe he kept quiet in the past to avoid bullying. Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan once mocked rumors about Robert’s sexuality, joking he needed to “toughen up” to seem manly. Such comments could pressure closeted gay youth into staying silent.
Fortunately, attitudes are improving as LGBTQ+ identities become more openly accepted. More importantly, one’s sexual orientation or preferences are nobody’s business but their own.
While the past held some ambiguities, Robert appears very happy with girlfriend Rorie nowadays. Since sexual identity can also be fluid, only Robert truly knows how he identifies.
We can support Robert best by respecting his autonomy to share that vulnerable information if and when he wants to. But his sexuality makes no difference regarding his admirable devotion caring for animals. Just as his father Steve showed, you can make a positive global impact regardless of sexual orientation or appearance.
1. Is Robert Irwin publicly out as LGBTQ+?
No, as of now Robert has not made any public statements about identifying as anything other than straight. He is currently dating a woman named Rorie Buckey.
2. What evidence existed in the past questioning Robert’s sexuality?
When younger, Robert had not dated publicly, leading some to wonder about his preferences. An awkward interview also implied Robert was behind peers in relationships. However, concrete proof was lacking.
3. Could Robert still identify as gay/bisexual privately?
It’s possible. Sexuality can be fluid and is very personal, so only Robert truly knows how he identifies. If LGBTQ+, he may not feel ready to share publicly.
4. Did Robert face unfair expectations around his masculinity?
Arguably yes. Some comments mocked Robert for not appearing “manly” enough, possibly pressuring him to seem straight traditionally masculine. This highlights lingering biases.
5. Would fans treat Robert differently if he came out as LGBTQ+?
One hopes not, but some sadly might. Robert’s wonderful work with animals should outshine irrelevant personal factors. All that matters is that he feels empowered to share his truth one day if he wishes.