Donal Og Cusack | I'm Gay | Ireland | News | Sports

Irish Hurler Donal Og Cusack: 'I'm Gay'

Donal Og Cusack, a legendary Irish goalkeeper in the Gaelic sport of hurling, has come out of the closet in a new biography, the Belfast Telegraph reports:

Cusack "The player has lifted the lid off his bisexual past in a candid story of his life that makes him the first ever senior GAA star to publicly declare his homosexuality. The Cork hurler from the small village of Cloyne is a legend in GAA circles after winning three All-Ireland finals. Yet in what may shock the sporting establishment, he admits to sleeping with both women and men before accepting his sexuality as a gay man in his autobiography Come What May published by Penguin Ireland and due out this month. In an honest and down-to-earth account of his life as one of the GAA's most high-profile players, he reveals how he tried to date women as a young man even though he knew from the age of 13 or 14 'that I was a bit different'. 'I tried to go out with women to make sure, to see what kind of feeling it gave me,' he writes.' I went out with nice women and good women, but sure, I still knew. I wanted something else. I get more out of men. I just do. Always have. I know I am different but just in this way. Whatever you may feel about me or who I am, I've always been at peace with it,' he said."

Watch a clip of a hurling match, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Good for him! But I still just don't "get" hurling.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 19, 2009 10:27:46 AM

  2. I'm thrilled at Cusack's coming out and I'm glad to see many good things coming out of Ireland, but I am getting a bit fatigued with these low-risk disclosures that generate profit via book sales.

    Posted by: Jeffrey Taylor | Oct 19, 2009 10:52:32 AM

  3. JT

    Think lacrosse but more masculine and far far far older

    It is older than xtianity in the British Isles dating to at least 2,000 yrs ago

    It is played internationally UK, Australia, new Zealand, North America, South Africa, etc UNLIKE american football which nobody outside of America gives 2 sh@ts about......Men in armor= wimps!!!!!!!!!!

    Rugby, World football (soccer), Hurling, etc all manly sports while american football, baseball, etc all pussy sports


    Posted by: jimmyboy | Oct 19, 2009 11:19:44 AM

  4. PS

    should have said Think lacrosse " but with paddles"

    also Hurling has roots that are prehistoric when skulls were used and bated around with clubs between 2 tribes

    Posted by: jimmyboy | Oct 19, 2009 11:23:58 AM

  5. Thank you, Jimmy. Sometimes one just has to look at a certain sport from a particular angle, and then one sort of "gets" the thrill. And even if one doesn't become a fan, one can sort of appreciate it.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 19, 2009 11:39:21 AM

  6. P.S. Very interesting about the pagan skull-batting roots.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 19, 2009 11:40:52 AM

  7. I welcome Donal. It's always great to hear about a person who accepts their homosexuality and comes out. He actually is still active in the sport and only 32.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 19, 2009 12:07:04 PM

  8. It's great, but he's a complete unknown outside of the sport. That said, it probably will help gay boys in Eire feel better about themselves.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 19, 2009 12:35:35 PM

  9. thank god he is a gay hurler and not a gay curler.

    Posted by: rick | Oct 19, 2009 12:35:37 PM

  10. and he's not too hard on the eyes.

    Hurling is a very "Manly" sport in the cultures in which it is played. this is akin to an AMerican FOotball Defensive Captain coming out and saying: "I like to kiss boys!"

    it's really pretty huge, as he is still in his sport.

    Posted by: Dego | Oct 19, 2009 1:02:47 PM

  11. Yes, he has chosen to come out publicly while still at his peak competitively and according to excerpts has had great support from his county team-mates, his home club, and according to the messageboards, from his fans too. Reading his story might be fatiguing for some, but to me its courageous and admirable.

    Never thought I'd see a hurling clip on towleroad.

    Posted by: DublinMike | Oct 19, 2009 2:19:34 PM

  12. Way to go, JimmyBoy!!! I agree 100%. I watch American baseball or football players and I think, "Ain't one of them who could last just one half of a World Football game."

    Posted by: mike | Oct 19, 2009 2:26:26 PM

  13. I agree. nice to see someone still playing a sport come out.

    Now if we could only get Richie McCaw (NZ All Blacks) to do the same. And don't race to tell me he's not gay. It's my fantasy world, I make the rules!

    Posted by: MicahSkin | Oct 19, 2009 5:22:28 PM

  14. Lacrosse a 'pussy' sport? MANY Americans and Canadians are getting a giggle out of that one.

    I suppose ice hockey is a 'pussy' sport also?

    AND American football players are BEASTS.

    GROWING up my best buddy had a hurling stick thing in his house. Don't know where it came from. We use to chase each other around with it.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Oct 19, 2009 5:23:28 PM

  15. It's really quite fantastic that he's come out at the zenith of his career. There's never been a "problem" per se with homophobia in Gaelic games, unlike in say, English and Italian soccer, but I still think it's great that he's there as an example for the thousands of Irish men who play hurling.

    Just one thing, his name is "Donal Óg Cusack", not "Og Cusack". That "Óg" is pronounced "ohgue", not "ogg" as it seems without the 'fada' (the line above the letter o in his name).

    Posted by: DavidG | Oct 19, 2009 5:49:29 PM

  16. footbal is incredibly tough on the body, even with all the padding. the concussion rates, what just a few of them do to people is devastating. most players retire before around 30. and after that, their bodies are forever affected.

    pain pills for years, hip and knee surgeries. and they don't have guaranteed contracts. so if they get hurt, they get nothing. lets not mention on the field injuries that can lead to paralysis.

    baseball isn't meant to be tough, but MLB is. they play over a 162 games a year.

    Posted by: sam | Oct 19, 2009 8:33:47 PM

  17. An to think that the hurling stick is called in Gaelic a ...caman and pronounced 'come on'

    Posted by: Caoimhin O'Cathail | Oct 19, 2009 11:05:20 PM

  18. John in Boston : Everybody's getting testosterone-y competitive here, but I seriously don't think anybody REALLY thinks any of these guys are pussies, whether it's lacrosse, rugby, hurling, or American football.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 20, 2009 6:07:28 AM

  19. This isn't actually 'low-risk' at all - it would be a pretty big deal as Ireland is concernced. Hurling would be more akin to hockey than lacrosse reputation wise - ie aggressive and 'masculine', and has a huge following, more so among conservative and rural folks. He's an active team member, on a team that's one of the top in the country.

    Posted by: tingalway | Oct 20, 2009 8:05:00 AM


    Posted by: michael | Oct 23, 2009 5:32:11 PM

    Your a brave man, and this is the 21st century.
    All the very best!

    Posted by: Bill from London | Oct 25, 2009 9:44:35 AM

  22. Nice one Donal! Top Man.

    Posted by: Joe in London | Oct 25, 2009 5:21:39 PM

  23. I saw Cusack interviewed on Ireland's iconic Late, Late Show. What impressed me most was his sangunity. There was no wringing of hands, no angst, no self-justication. He just put it very plainly and to paraphrase said, 'I'm gay and that's me'.

    While many people will have no notion of who he is, his coming out is highly signiicant, pointing up as it does the world of Sports lamentable dragging of it's feet on gay intolerance in its ranks.

    Posted by: SteviePics | Oct 26, 2009 11:44:31 AM

  24. Well done Donal..anybody not from Ireland won't realise that this is a very masculine sport and in my experience pretty homophobic. It is the 21st century but some followers and players of the game are stuck in the anti-gay mindset of 1900's Ireland when the Catholic Church damned gay people.
    Hopefully Donals actions will bring people into the 21st century and make things easier for people who are afraid to come out.

    Posted by: David Doyle | Oct 26, 2009 9:09:28 PM

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