Māori performer Mika has revealed his mentor Carmen Rupe, a transgender pioneer, had many All Black lovers.
“There wasn’t just one All Black, there were several All Blacks, and there was one that she connected with,” Mika told Māori Television’s Native Affairs.
“The reason we don’t name the All Black is because that person got married, has had children and that person wasn’t horrible to gay people. I know if I name somebody, I could destroy their lives. Carmen knew that too.”
Mika and mentor Carmen Rupe - Photo / Supplied
Mika was in his twenties when he met the influential entertainer, who was born Trevor Rupe and died in 2011. They became very close.
“She was like your favourite nan or aunty.”
Mika says an openly gay All Black would have a positive impact on those struggling with their sexuality and hoped one day a Kiwi rugby star would have the courage to come out.
“I think the All Blacks are positioned enough to support that person.”
Mika spoke to Native Affairs about the launch of his biography, called I Have Loved Me a Man written by Sharon Mazer.
The full interview will screen on Native Affairs, Monday, October 8th, 8pm on Māori Television.