independent

Friday 20 September 2019

Leo Varadkar's sexuality should not be an issue. Full stop.

Justine O'Mahony
Justine O'Mahony

Justine O'Mahony

So Leo Varadkar is gay. Does anybody really care? Seriously I would love to meet someone that it does make a difference to. I personally couldn't give a toss.

I was more surprised by the fact that he is only 36 than that he was gay to be honest! It just goes to show the impact a life in politics has on your looks.

I am not a political animal. I don't get drawn into political debate normally but it interests me that he felt the need to announce this publicly.

Were he heterosexual would he have announced on Miriam O'Callaghan's radio show, 'I am a heterosexual man'? I don't think so.

He then said it wasn't a secret and that it wasn't something that defined him. Well if that's the case why bother announcing it on our national airwaves, which was one sure-fire way of grabbing headlines across the country.

The Minister for Health then maintained that he wanted to make clear that there were no hidden agendas on his behalf going into the same-sex marriage referendum set for May this year. Well why not wait until he was asked to answer that particular question?

Not that it's anybody's business. Leo Varadkar's sexuality should not be an issue. Full stop.

I'm more interested in the job he is supposed to be doing - like sorting out the overcrowding in our hospitals, making sure that people who need them, get medical cards, reducing the waiting lists.

Maybe it's because I'm not gay, that I don't understand why people are saying it was such a brave thing to do.

Many within the gay community say that society still discriminates against them. I've never witnessed that but if it does happen that makes me sad.

Nobody should be defined by their sexuality. Nobody should be abused because of their sexuality.

The phrase that has been bandied about the media - 'Ireland's first openly gay minister' took me somewhat by surprise because it suggests that there are people out there who are also gay but not comfortable with coming out because of the reaction they expect to get.

Perhaps it's my years in the media that has made me suspect Leo Varadkar didn't have as much a say in this, as he would like us to believe. I can't help thinking some gutter press hack may have been sniffing around, ready to spill the beans and Varadkar got in there first. Of course you couldn't blame him for that.

Whatever his reasons, I hope one day very soon, it will not be such a big deal for a Government Minister to say he is gay. For anyone to say they are gay, come to that.

In the meantime I wish him well. And would he ever just get on with the business of sorting out our health crisis!

Wexford People

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