During an international basketball game between Australia and New Zealand on Sunday, opera singer Kanen Breen was scheduled to sing the national anthem and decided to wear a rainbow tie to the event.
Australian politicians had been heatedly debating marriage equality last week, and Breen’s tie was a not-so-subtle statement voicing his support for the cause.
“I love my tie,” the 42-year-old told Nine Network, “and I wore it quite deliberately whilst singing about a nation that purports to be free and fair in a flamboyant little protest.”
This raised the hackles of one audience member at the Rod Laver Arena, who decided to heckle and spew homophobic insults at the performer — including screaming “fa**ot!”
“I realized I was marching into a lions den with this tie I had slavishly painted those colors on and splashed with glitter,” Breen said. “It was a choice moment the buffoon chose, big crowd, live television, whoever this person is, you have to admit they have theatrical timing, they chose their moment perfectly. Clearly one individual among the fans felt I was a little too fabulous — his problem, not mine. I learned a very long time ago not to value the opinions of people for whom I have no respect.”
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