FORMER Cork hurler Conor Cusack has received widespread support on social media after following in the footsteps of his brother Donal Og and revealing he is gay.
The 34-year-old Cloyne player attempted to remove the stigma of homosexuality by declaring that he is attracted to men, in his blog post entitled To Thine Own Self Be True.
"I've known for a good while now that I have been sexually attracted to men,” he said.
"In that time, I've had relationships with women, and enjoyed them immensely but I've always had more fulfilment from being with a man. I'm not sure what label society would categorise me under.
Thank you, Conor Cusack, for helping young people to become more comfortable with who they are.
— Linda Bergin (@Irish_Inklings) January 29, 2014
"Life for me is never black or white but more about different shades of grey."
“I have been comfortable with this area of my life and I never felt the need to discuss it with anyone. That is until recently.”
He joins his brother, All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Donal Og, who revealed he was gay over four years ago in in his autobiography Come What May.
This move made Donal Og the first ever senior GAA star to publicly declare his homosexuality.
Credit where's it's due Conor, keep knocking those boundaries! http://t.co/aRJ7fp41a5
— Ciarán O' Regan (@ciaranoregan) January 28, 2014
Younger brother, Conor, goes on in his blog to explain his own decision to speak out about his sexuality.
"I have never denied anything about this part of my life because no one has ever asked me the question. I often use Shakespeare's quote in my talks 'To thine own self be true so to no man can thoust ever be false again'.
"By me talking about this part of my life, I am being true to myself but more importantly right now, I am being true to all of those people that I am interacting with on a daily basis," he said.
“I couldn’t continue to feel authentic meeting and talking to these people and continuing to do the work that I am doing without being able to be fully open and honest about all aspects of my life.”
conor cusack fair play delighted you have this off your shoulders. Have been through it all and great to finally say it :) xx
— robbie gibney (@robbiegib) January 28, 2014
He added: "I believe nobody should have to talk publicly about matters to do with their mental health or with issues to do with their sexuality if they don't want to. I have chosen to do both."
The decision to go public followed a discussion with his parents who provided him with support.
He said: "My original blog was written in the hope that it would provide comfort to others that are struggling with issues to do with their mental health and help to break down the stigma and taboo associated with it. It's my firm belief that everyone has the right to be who they want to be in this world."
Conor’s declaration of his sexuality comes after he spoke publicly last year about being diagnosed with depression.
Hats off to Conor Cusack:-) http://t.co/CYcL51gC3L
— JustDaiz (@DaizWalden) January 28, 2014
Last year he was commended for his blog post, ‘Depression is a friend, not my enemy’, in which he discussed that he had overcome and learned to deal with his mental health problems.
He is a pioneer in addressing mental health issues and helps others in dealing with depression.