‘It’s Part of Who I Am’

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90355817Health Minister Leo Varadkar

“I am a gay man, it’s not a secret, but not something that everyone would necessarily know but isn’t something I’ve spoken publicly about before. It’s not something that defines me. I’m not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It’s just part of who I am, it is part of my character I suppose.

“It’s not a big deal for me anymore, I hope it’s not a big deal for anyone else, it shouldn’t be”

Leo Varadkar on RTÉ R1’s Sunday with Miriam O’Callaghan this morning

Leo Varadkar: ‘I am a gay man’, Minister says (Irish Times)

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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73 thoughts on “‘It’s Part of Who I Am’

    1. Sham Bob

      He’s a competent right-wing bollix. I hope he doesn’t get to lead FG and Enda runs it into the ground.

  1. notaproblem

    Cue shower of idiots going : “Ehhh…who cares? Why is this news? Should I come out AS A HETEROSEXUAL???!!! Grow up people. ;)”

      1. Ms Piggy

        On the contrary, there’s a lot of just that kind of statement going on over in the comments under this story in the Journal. Sigh.

        1. Jordofthejungle

          Funny how those most virulently opposed to marriage for same-sex couples trot out the “I don’t care if a person is gay – it’s their private life” line. They do care and what they care so much about, in an acutely negative and spiteful way, is the visibility and hope people like Leo Varadkar provide.

          1. ahjayzis

            Zactly.

            It’s all “i don’t care, I’m sure no one cares, so why are you telling everyone? STOP TELLING PEOPLE AND HUMANISING MY PREJUDICES”

          2. joe

            No seriously, there are people who are not so consumed by the fear of offending someone that they, like myself, dont give a flying fupp about his sexuality or yours or anybody elses.

  2. Soundings

    “But when I ask which actresses he fancies, it’s a step too far; the Minister doesn’t want to answer.” Leo being profiled in 2012 which goes on “They [friends, supposedly] can recall Leo going out with a few girls, but don’t remember ever meeting a significant other in all the years they’ve known him.”

    NOW WE KNOW WHY?!

    Gwan the Leo, not sure it should be any big deal for someone in Ireland in 2015 to declare their sexuality, but at the top of Irish society, where the Church still has unbelievable power, it actually is. Well done Leo! (you’re still a political ballix, mind)

    1. Jordofthejungle

      There were quite a lot of people who knew already. As Leo said, it wasn’t exactly a tightly guarded secret. I may have alluded to it myself in previous BS posts.

      1. Soundings

        Aah, an insider. Is there a significant other in the picture? Might the gay marriage issue be more pertinent to Leo than he implied this morning.

  3. Atticus

    Hardly surprising, but it is a significant day in Irish politics and hopefully it makes way for the day when someone’s sexuality is no longer a talking point.

    And just to concur with with the general consensus, he’s still a bølløx.

  4. Shane

    I used to think he was one of the good guys but some of the shite he has “come out” with in the last year or so has me doubting.
    I couldn’t care less about his sexuality, that’s his business and knot the business of governing.
    That said I always respect a gay man especially in the public eye having the strength to make this declaration. So best of luck to him.

  5. ahjayzis

    I’m usually fairly ‘oooh, get HER’ about ‘motional comings out of public people, but this made me smile.

    I mean I don’t vote FG, but it’s so Irish and awesome that we’re more like to have a Mo Taoiseach before we have a Lady Taoiseach. Well done Leo!

  6. ahjayzis

    Also, I’m literally drooling over the concept of Leo destroying David Quinn in a marriage equality debate.

  7. Soundings

    Leo would find life difficult in his (half) native India where same-sex relations are unlawful, and according to the great religions of India after their highest courts reaffirmed the unlawfulness of same sex relations in 2013:

    “Homosexuality is against Indian culture, against nature and against science. We are regressing, going back to when we were almost like animals.” – Hinduism

    “Homosexuality is a crime according to scriptures and is unnatural. People cannot consider themselves to be exclusive of a society… In a society, a family is made up of a man and a woman, not a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. If these same sex couples adopt children, the child will grow up with a skewed version of a family.” – Islam

    “In Judaism, our scriptures do not permit homosexuality” – Judaism

    “Spiritually, human sexual relations are identified as those shared by a man and a woman.” – Christianity, not to mention Pope Frankee’s “disfiguring” remarks this weekend

    That’s the Indians, though? I still come back to the influence of the Catholic church at the top of Irish society – if members of Opus Dei were to “come out”, you’d be truly shocked. And in that context, it was a brave declaration on Leo’s part. Gwan the Leo!

  8. Otis Blue

    The current edition of Village magazine was quite specific about this. It also named his partner who is a public figure. Surprised to see that it was picked up anywhere else.

      1. Sg

        Stop directing people to that story. It’s 100% bullshit created from idle gossip
        and actually defamatory.

  9. bobsyerauntie

    Am I the only one who thinks that Leo was being more cowardly than brave by not facing up to his sexuality for 36 years? And just for the record, I speak as a gay man who came out at 21, and no it’s never easy to come out at any age, and yes the longer you leave it the harder it gets, and also yes, it’s really nobodies business, however- he is in the public eye, therefore many would think that (rightly or wrongly) it is their business…

    It seems to me that this was a politically motivated decision not a personal one..
    The tone of his quivering, dry throat in his interview with Miriam just doesn’t seem to be that sincere…
    He seems extremely uncomfortable discussing his sexuality to the point of painfully shy embarrassment, and I sense that this has not been solely his decision to come out in this way..
    It seems to me that he has been somewhat pushed out of the closet maybe?

    I never thought I’d say it, but I do actually feel for the guy, even though I despise Fine Gael and everything they stand for..
    But the cynic in me can’t help wonder, why now Leo?

    1. Clampers Outside!

      In fairness he has been out for a time already, just not as a public figures which in an ideal world it wouldn’t be a thing at all, so coming out as a public figure in Ireland unfortunately is it believe a brave move.
      The extent or intensity of that bravery may vary by one’s opinion but I wouldn’t call the lower end of that cowardice by any stretch. So, no, not at all ;)

      1. bobsyerauntie

        I don’t know, to be honest, I have very mixed feelings about this.
        As an out gay man myself of a similar age, I want to applaud him, but listening to the interview, nothing seems sincere about it, it just seems very false, particularly when Miriam is asking him about when he knew he was gay, and how long did his family/friends know etc.. I just don’t think he is being entirely honest in that regard at all… and at times he contradicts himself and it doesn’t add up..
        All of the headlines generated in the Irish media though have created PR gold for Fine Gael…
        make you wonder…
        He’s been in government 4 years, and two other TD’s are out gay men- Jerry Buttimer and John Lyons so why come out in the last year before an election?

  10. Swoon

    “It’s not something that defines” or “it’s just part of who I am”

    Everything to all men then.

  11. FrannyKirby

    I think it’s really nice to see how far the Irish media has come in reporting these kind of stories in the last 13 years.

    Contrast it to this kind of hounding from the papers back in 2002: http://www.independent.ie/regionals/goreyguardian/news/gay-story-not-relevant-says-howlin-27289694.html

    Politics (and the clergy (of all faiths)) are two professions where it remains extremely hard to come out and still be accepted, that’s why this was so difficult for him. He was very brave to do it. Naturally none of this alters my utter dislike for FG.

  12. PPads

    It is quite likely that Leo would have been outed if he didn’t do it himself. Whiter in the past he would have got to where he is by being publically open is questionable but good luck to him either way.
    As for those who scream “I don’t want to know, it makes no difference”. If it doesn’t make a difference then why do you object to it so much?

  13. Niallo

    “Ooh look at me, i’m batting for the other team, i’m a great fella”
    Who gives a damn ? The health service is bolli*d
    Sort that out ! thats what your paid for.
    Do that, then you can have your jeremy kyle moment, on your own time, not that anyone will care, dipsh17.

  14. GiGi

    Wish the press would spend more time talking about his utter failure as a health minister and park up the gay bit. Great it’s out, now could we have a few more hospital beds please minister? It is purely throwing the spotlight elsewhere in my opinion. It doesn’t matter to me if he’s half Ferrengi and makes sweet love to unicorns. Get on with the real debate Leo. Am I being too harsh?

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