Aussie gay pop icon, Troye Sivan, has played at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena, named after the homophobic minister and former tennis player.
During a tongue-in-cheek performance on the final date of Sivan’s Bloom Tour, held on Wednesday at the arena, Sivan channelled David Bowie’s notorious queer pop persona and dubbed the concert part of “the gay agenda”.
When one fan in the audience shouted that they would “turn gay” for Sivan, he replied: “Oh, you’d turn gay for me? I don’t think that’s how that works but I’m still down, I appreciate it.
“God, this is literally the gay agenda! This is what everyone was worried about,” he quipped.
Donning a blue blouse, form-fitting red jumpsuit, black patent leather heels and an eyepatch, Sivan lit up the stage while replicating of Bowie’s kaleidoscopic 1974 performance of Rebel Rebel.
However, some will be less impressed with this homage to homosexuality than others.
77-year-old Margaret Court, a retired Australian tennis player and winner of 24 single Grand Slams in her heyday, won the award for ‘Homophobic Comment of the Year’ at the annual 2018 GLORIAs (Gay & Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous and Ignorant comment Awards) in Sydney.
The now controversial arena was named after Court in 2003, a decision that tennis stars such as Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King have called to be undone.
Court, who is now a Pentecostal Christian minister in Perth, has previously claimed that homosexuality is an unholy “lust for the flesh”, insisted that LGBTIQ tendencies in young people were “all the devil”, likened gay people to Hitler and claimed that older lesbian tennis players have turned younger players gay.
In an interview with Vision Christian Radio, Court alleged that lesbianism had trickled down to the younger players and insinuated that homosexuality could be “overcome”.
“Tennis is full of lesbians … when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led, that took young ones into parties and things,” Court said.
“And what you get at the top is often what you’ll get right through that sport.
“We’re there to help them overcome. We’re not against the people.”
Billie Jean King, a tennis legend and outspoken lesbian, has been a vocal advocate in the past for the renaming of the Margaret Court Arena, after Court’s repeated homophobic and transphobic comments.
“If I were playing today, I would not play on it. I personally don’t think [it] should have her name anymore,” King told a news conference in 2018.
“I think it’s really important if you’re going to have your name on anything that you’re hospitable, you’re inclusive, you’re open arms to everyone that comes. It’s a public facility.
“I think if you were talking about Indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can’t imagine the public would want somebody to have their name on something. Maybe because of our community, the LGBTIQ community, people might feel differently.
“But we’re all God’s children. We are all God’s children, so I probably don’t think it’s appropriate to have her name.”