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Leo Varadkar open about being gay

Minister for health, Leo Varadkar yesterday told the world he’s gay. In an interview with Miriam O’Callaghan, on RTÉ Radio, he spoke about it in a way that suggests it’s really not a big thing.

Minister for health, Leo Varadkar and Miriam O'Callaghan shake hands outside RTE. From irishtimes.comGood for him

He said his sexuality doesn’t define him, just as other aspects of himself don’t define him – such as being a doctor or being half Indian. It’s simply one part of his personality.

Which is the way it should be. Someone’s sexuality shouldn’t be a big deal, even if they are a cabinet minister.

Good for the country

But, it is a big deal for the the history of Ireland. It’s a marker of where we’ve come as a country and hopefully where we’re going.

It shows we’re becoming more inclusive as a society, more accepting and less hysterical or judgemental. This is surely a healthier way to operate?

What about the children?

Growing up and getting on with life can be hard at the best of times. Coming to terms with your sexuality and realising you might be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can make it all the tougher.

When someone as prominent as Leo Varadkar comes out in public it sends all the right messages. It’s OK to be something other than straight, in fact, it’s normal.

Breaking bad stereotypes

He’s a well-known public figure, a politician, someone who might be described as serious. All these facts make his coming out all the more poignant.

Not all gay people can (or want to) be fashion designers, drag-queens or comedians. Which is fine. Not all gay people want to be politicians either, and that’s fine too.

We’re all different. We all have unique characteristics, opinions and life experiences. As long as we’re not hurting anyone else that should be fine.

Respect

Whatever you think of his politics, and whatever reason he’s now coming out to the public, it can’t have been easy.

Fair play to Leo for being himself and being open about it, and  to everyone else who’s trying to do the same.

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