Such A Lisp. What If Ned Kelly Was Gay?

On Wednesday 25th of May a ripple of outrage ran through social media in Australia as a true icon of Aussie sport confessed to not supporting gay marriage. Yep that’s right tennis great Margret Court publicly slammed Qantas for it’s pro marriage equality stance and  announced in the papers she no longer supported Qantas and would fly in the future on any airline but Qantas. She preached about love between a man and women, about God, declared how proud she was to represent Australia in sport (not water sports though), an Australia I presume from her POV that had no homosexuals in it at the time of her greatest sporting achievements in tennis… or maybe they were in Australia but felt poor Margret so narrow minded that they skipped her as a friend back of court. Whatever!

Anyhow forgetting the ill informed Margaret Court for a just a moment, she got me thinking and wondering, I wondered what if all our greatest sporting hero’s or legends like say Ned Kelly were gay and not straight? Would we honour them in Australian history like we do today? Would they still be Aussie icons? I reckon they wouldn’t. Imagine if Formula One driver Jack Bradham or cricketer Sir Donald Bradman batted for the other team, would we still call them champions?  Or would their sexuality get in the way of making them true living legends in Australia? I mean even Ian Thorpe had to pretend he was straight to get sponsorship.

What if great Aussie icons turned out gay? – Noel Anderson

What if Margret Court was the face of all Virgin Airlines advert’s in this country.  Now imagine, Josh Thomas or Joel Creasey getting on national TV and declaring they refused to travel on Virgin Airlines as they didn’t support Margret’s heterosexual marriage stance and all her beer-belly-heterosexual friends.  Yep, your right…I know what you are thinking, it would never happen in a pink fit, right? Josh and Joel would for one be too busy getting on with their own day to day business to be bothered driving a stake of bigotry into the hearts of Australians straight or gay.  Margret Court may be a great sports person but she appears to be a less than great human being. Do we care about that?

So, back to where we started… If Ned Kelly was gay would we still be talking about him today? I say not. And, if Margret Court was gay would we care about her sporting achievements today? I say not.  Equality I reckon still has some way to go, not just in marriage either. What do you think? I’ll leave you with a few lines of our national anthem Advance Australia Fair ๐Ÿ™‚

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free?

Read more: John Williamson – Advance Australia Fair Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The author Noel Anderson completed NIDA’s playwright Studio in 1996 and has directed over 50 theatrical productions, and will be looking for actors to be part of LOVE KILLS 2017 at the Melbourne Fringe, an evening of twisted stories about falling in and out of love. Noelโ€™s plans to film several pieces from Love Kills 2017 as a web series.


2 thoughts on “Such A Lisp. What If Ned Kelly Was Gay?

  1. This is really interesting to me, because I studied Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang last semester for university and a number of critics pointed out that Carey’s Kelly is sexually ambiguous, allowing him to draw attention to the differing attitude towards homosexuality in settler times. One critic argued that the Australian settler/bushman life would have been conducive to male-male relationships, which is an interesting idea, because you’re absolutely right: the inference that someone who we believe to be pivotal to our conception of ‘Australian national identity’ might be homosexual would cause an outrage. It did, in fact, in the 60s when someone brought it up and it caused a nation-wide scandal and everyone on every level of Australian society weighed in on whether or not Ned Kelly was gay… Because that’s what really important?! It says a lot about how we construct both national identity and masculinity in Aus (if you consider the Ned Kelly is often touted as the epitome of what is an ‘Australian bushman’). Brilliant point about Thorpe too: people were SO OFFENDED when he finally came out after he finished competing, and for what? I’m hoping to write a post about this soon (specifically why, oh why, human beings can’t let go of this driving need to be unreasonably involved in other people’s lives and choices). Great post!


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