fbpx
World

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar opens up on coming out as gay and the ‘very different’ experience nowadays

Leo Varadkar has opened up about coming out as gay and how young people have a ‘very different’ experience nowadays.

The Tanaiste, who became Ireland’s youngest and first gay and mixed-race Taoiseach in 2017, admitted that when he first entered politics he may not have been fully aware of, or accepted, his sexuality.

The 43-year-old spoke to the Anton Savage Show on Newstalk about the “liberating” social change that has happened in Ireland over the past 20 years.

Referring to his sexuality in early interview he gave on the Lisbon Treaty while he was still in Young Fine Gael, he said: “Back then when I was doing that interview [in the early 2000s] I’m not sure it was even known to myself.

“That was the reality of the times that we lived in or certainly, if it was known to me, I hadn’t absorbed it or internalized it or accepted it.

READ MORE:

“Ireland’s just become a much better place, so much more welcoming, so much more diverse, so much more tolerant.

“I think we forget how oppressive it was as recently as 2000, where people had such fixed views about how men and women should behave and what people should do and how they should live their lives and that’s changed so fundamentally.”

Leo Varadkar pictured with his partner Matt Barrett, who has been with since 2015

Mr Varadkar said it has been “liberating” how things have changed over the last 20 years and that Ireland is now a very different place for young gay people to grow up in.

He continued: “It’s true for gay men and very true for women as well, that the views of how women should behave has very much changed and changed for the better.

“Very much in my lifetime, only the last half a generation or so and I think it has been very liberating.

“Certainly, even for young gay people in their 20s now, it’s a very different experience.

“They tend to have a group of mixed friends, men and women, and they might be the gay guy in the group, and everyone thinks that’s great. It wasn’t like that when I was in school.

“That’s not to say that homophobic bullying doesn’t still exist in schools, it does, but it’s not like it used to be thankfully.”

Mr Varadkar was first elected a TD in 2007 came out as gay in an interview on national radio in 2015 in the run-up to the marriage equality referendum.

He has been in a relationship with his partner Dr Matthew Barrett since 2015 and the couple recently bought a house together in Dublin 8.

.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
KQ Education Group