Comedian Joel Creasy reveals fling with gay AFL footballer
As in England’s Premier League, there is not yet a single out gay footballer in Australia’s AFL Australian rules football league.
And as with top-flight soccer, that certainly doesn’t mean that there are no gay players, just that none are out.
That was confirmed this week by Australian comedian Joel Creasy, who has spoken about a romance with a gay AFL footballer in his new memoir Thirsty: Confessions of a Fame Whore.
An excerpt from the book has been printed in the Herald Sun and Creasy told the newspaper that he wouldn’t out the player in question.
“I’m very good at keeping secrets so he will be all right,” he said.
“I give just enough away. He’s a lovely guy.”
The issue of gay footballers has been rumbling in Australia for several years, and the conversation has only got louder during the debate over same-sex marriage as the postal vote continues.
Back in 2010, one player said that any gay players should remain closeted because the AFL is “not ready for it”.
“Imagine the publicity associated with a current player admitting he’s gay,” he said.
“It would be international news and could break the fabric of a club.”
Two years later another player suggested there was a “sick fascination” with players’ sexuality among some in the public while the game itself had moved to a culture of “great acceptance”.
The AFL launched a major anti-homophobia drive the same year.
However, the problem of homophobia still continues in the game. One commentator labelled a player a “big poofter” for apparently over-celebrating his 150th game.
Soon after, the AFL publicly declared its support for same-sex marriage.
“The AFL will keep saying no matter how many times it takes, that our game does not tolerate discrimination in any form, be that sexual identity, gender, race (or) religious views,” said league boss Gillion McLachlan.
“We also support the position of marriage equality for all people.”
The League publicly restated that support last month as the campaign for equal marriage continued.
In his book extract, Creasy talks about the lack of out players and why he knows there’s definitely at least one gay AFL star.
“I know there’s been a push for years for an AFL player to come out of the closet, too,” he writes,
“A player coming out would certainly help stigma, but I don’t think anyone should be forced into coming out.”
He continues: “It always makes me laugh when conservatives say, ‘There aren’t any gay players in the AFL’.
“As I mentioned, I live near Etihad Stadium. I can assure you there are – I slept with one.
“I’m not in the business of outing people either, though. And we only slept together a couple of times.
“But I always did love the juxtaposition of him coming over after a game to me lying on the couch watching The Devil Wears Prada.”
Meanwhile, despite initially being nominated to play, transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey was blocked by the Australian’s Women’s Football League from its draft.