Gay Irish hurling star Cusack's book shows he's a man in every sense
Review: 'Come What May'
His fellow players, he tells us, were only sorry that he didn’t feel he could have told them sooner. Even his parents eventually came to terms with it and were, in the end, only disappointed to hear the vicious anti-gay abuse hurled at him from the stands.
Cusack himself is philosophical about all the tongue-lashing. In the book he makes a long list of the things people abuse him about from behind the goals -- for being from Cork, for his personal life, for goals that Waterford have scored against him, for his personal life, for short puck-outs, for strikes, sendings-off, for his personal life.
Famously, he also recalls the moment at a championship game in Semple Stadium in Co. Tipperary, when a man started up a hate-filled chant on a megaphone to taunt him.
“Donal Og, he’s gay, he’s bent, his arse is up for rent,” shouted the man on the megaphone, over and over.
No one in the packed stadium said a word. Cusack’s teammate Diarmuid O’Sullivan asked the Gardai (Irish police) to throw the offender out, but they took no action.
Dennis Walsh, Cusack’s boss, heard it and was so shaken he wrote a letter to Cusack because of the effect it had on him. For Cusack it’s one of many defining moments, because he played on, and won, and had a realization that has fortified him ever since.
“I’m thinking that in a large stadium like this, almost filled with hurling people, there must be many men and women standing silent, knowing that their sexuality or that of someone they love isn’t to the liking of this man with the megaphone. So it’s here in this book, between the covers, come what may,” writes Cusack, with all the defiance that has made him such a formidable sportsman. Now that’s what a real man looks like.
'Come What May' is printed by Penguin Ireland, and is available on Amazon.
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