Well, I have to say you could have knocked me down with a feather. In a shock announcement, former boxing promoter Frank Maloney has revealed living as a woman for the past year, wants to be known as Kellie, and is to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
And why is this such a shock, dears? Well this is the same Frank Maloney who in 2004 stood as United Kingdom Indpendence Party (UKIP) candidate for London Mayor and made so many openly homophobic comments that James Davenport of the Gay Conservatives called him a “dangerous extremists” and called upon UKIP to deselect him as candidate.
Maloney’s comments at that time were not just hate-filled, some of them were downright absurd. Judge for yourself;
“I object to seeing policemen in uniform holding hands in public – it’s not a family way of life and we should support the family more. If a policeman and a policewoman in uniform were walking along holding hands in public they’d be pulled up.”
“I’m not homophobic, but in public let’s live a proper moral life – I think that’s important.”
“There is a problem with gay parades”
“If you are homosexual, you are homosexual – just get on with your life and stop bitching about things.”
“I don’t think they do a lot for society. I don’t have a problem with gays, what I have a problem with is them openly flaunting their sexuality.”
“I’m more for traditional family values and family life. I’m anti same-sex marriages and I’m anti same-sex families.”
“I don’t think it’s right for children to be brought up that way. I don’t think two men can bring up a child.”
Maloney at the time had also said he would not campaign in the London Borough of Camden, stating there were “too many gays”. Following the complaint from James Davenport, he tried to qualify that statement by trying to claim it was because nobody would vote for him;
“What’s it got to do with them? The Gay Conservatives are not going to vote for me anyway,” he said, “I have said I don’t want to campaign around gays because I don’t think they will vote for me.”
Well, he certainly got that latter statement right. But then, few Londoners voted for Maloney and the neo-fascists of UKIP.
In the light of this announcement, one can only assume that this deep-seated homophobia possibly came from Frankie Baby’s own denial and the self-loathing which that denial creates. Having been in denial for so long myself, I can certainly relate to the self-hate which the need to be female can imbue in one.
As a boxing promoter, Frank Maloney was hugely successful, and once managed Lennox Lewis to the World Heavyweight Crown. His secret life of a transsexual, alongside the macho image of boxing, caused him severe depression, which led to him at one point attempting suicide with a mixture of booze and prescription drugs. A family man with two daughters, Frank’s marraige also broke down due to his sexuality, and she states that telling his wife and daughters was the hardest thing he ever did.
Perhaps we should not be so surprised. Frank Maloney was always a charismatic character, well-loved by some and well-known for his outrageously flambouyant dress sense, which included Union Flag suits. Oh, Kellie was just dying to be let out. She certainly states that she has always known she was born into the wrong body. Perhaps therefore we can see the choice of the macho sport of boxing as overcompensating.
I for one am therefore willing to give Kellie a chance. It would be nice for her to apologise for Frank’s homophobic remarks, but I personally am not expecting one any time soon. Likewise I do not know if she is still a UKIP member, and if so I would like her to leave that odious party, but I won’t hold me breath on that one either.
I shall however be watching and listening to Kellie very carefully, dears. Whilst it should not be so, we are all aware that there are bigotry problems even within the LGBT community, and while one would trust that Kellie would be more tolerant than Frank, that yet remains to be seen.
I have to say that at 61 years of age, Kellie makes a striking figure of a woman. And her brave decision should send a clear message that it is never too late for trans people to fulfil their lives.
It sadly also gives me no pleasure that Kellie has already been subjected to the same kind of comments online which Frank Maloney used to dish out to others.