On today’s Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio One, Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, talked publicly for the first time about being a gay man.
Minister Varadkar (36) is the first cabinet minister in Ireland to be openly gay.
On the show he said: “I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know”
“We salute the courage of the Minister in talking openly about being a gay man. His courage will inspire many others who would like to be open about who they are” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.
“Whether you are a cabinet minister or a young gay person doing your Leaving Certificate, it takes courage to talk openly about who you are. Minister Varadkar talking openly about being gay will be a very important source of support for LGBT people and for their parents and families” said Rose.
“Minister Varadkar’s interview today sends a very strong signal that LGBT people can aspire to and achieve the highest political office in Ireland” said Rose.
“There has been huge progress in Ireland for LGBT people over the last twenty years which has created a positive environment where more and more LGBT people can be open about who they are and who they love with their families and friends and in their communities” said Rose.
“Despite the progress, it is often not easy for an LGBT person to be open about who they are. While for the vast majority of people coming out is a positive experience, sadly some people face rejection by some of those closest to them” said Rose.
“Minister Varadkar talking openly about being gay will help to further change Ireland so that nobody faces rejection because of who they are or who they love” concluded Rose.