Ex-MP comes out as gay, splits with wife and sells urinal
For the best part of a decade, the friends and neighbours of former Liberal MP Michael Yabsley spoke openly of rumours of the retired politician being gay.
So it came as some surprise to this writer to discover, while chasing a story relating to Yabsley years ago following his retirement from parliament in 1994, that he was in fact married and living with his wife Susie in their Kangaloon home, Wombat Hollow, a home that through the seasons has played host to conversational forums with the likes of Bob Carr, Nick Greiner, Alan Jones and a descendant of Sir Winston Churchill. In October, Yabsley and wife Susie split up after 37 years and two children together.
This cleared the way for Yabsley to come out this year at the age of 63.
Now living in Kings Cross with a man and giving sensitive interviews to other media about being in a "comfortable" relationship Yabsley and his estranged wife will next week auction off the contents of their Southern Highlands home Wombat Hollow through Sydney auction house Lawsons.
Among lots creating the most talk last week is a four-man urinal with an asking price of $100-$200.
The urinal, which has clearly seen better days and is covered in a green sort of moss or mould, might be classified as a rare oddity in auction terms but it's by no means the strangest thing in the Yabsley collection.
That might be reserved for the 100-plus-year-old oil cans the Yabsleys are selling off and are arranged in lots of similar colour and size, or the dozens of surveyor's stands and surveyor pegs - surely never before considered a "collectable" at a Lawsons auction.
Strange repurposed household items that the crafty Yabsley has made into standing lamps - ladders, sheep sheering blades, paper roll dispensers, tanner stands - are listed, all of which were falling well short of the $200-$300 asking price at close of day yesterday.
Little household furniture is listed and nothing that might be considered traditional art - no paintings, sketches or sculpture.
The only really valuable item among the 700-plus lot list is a 1937 Chevrolet pick-up truck which has a $25,000 to $35,000 asking price and is registered.
Originally published as Ex-MP comes out as gay, splits with wife and sells urinal