Gay in the GAA
The challenge of Dónal Óg Cusack’s ‘coming out’ to heteronormativity in contemporary Irish culture and society
in Defining events
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Dónal Óg Cusack, goalkeeper for the Cork Senior hurling team, publicly announced that he was gay in the Irish Mail on Sunday, shortly before the release of his auto biography, Come What May. This chapter asks whether, to what extent and why Dónal Óg Cusack's coming out was a significant milestone in Ireland's very recent history. It explores the ways in which it represented change and/or continuity in a small island nation in which both traditional and (post)modern concepts of gender and sexuality coexist and compete. The historical and current-day significance of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in the construction of both Irish and masculine identity cannot be underestimated. The tone and tenor of media coverage of Cusack's revelation similarly illustrate the book's (Come What May) significant but partially limited impact in undoing hegemonic assumptions of sexual orientation and of gender identity and behaviour in sport.

Defining events

Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland

Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

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