Leo Varadker’s decision to come out to the public took great courage. It’s great to see that the reaction has been one of warmth and positivity.
It is also significant for Ireland and Irish politics that there has been such an overwhelmingly positive response.
It’s proves that changes in Irish attitudes towards sexuality are coming.
I listened to the interview conducted by Miriam O’Callaghan in which Varadker stated that he is a gay man. I thought the interview was handled with great empathy and kindness. It was nice to see a more human side of such a prominent public figure. I think Varadker’s decision to declare his sexuality will not hinder his chances of progressing in his career.
He has achieved so much already at the young age of 36. His refusal to allow his sexuality to define him proves how determined he is to achieve his goals. Coming out to an entire nation is a courageous action. There were many times in the interview where he stumbled and his anxiety was easy to detect.
I imagine coming out to friends and family is hard enough let alone a whole country. Varadker did the interview because he did not want to be dishonest to the Irish people. The weight of having to declare a part of who you are because of other people must be hard to carry.
It will be interesting to see if a minister coming out will affect the controversial ban on blood donations by gay men which is currently under review. Leo’s actions are inspiring to people everywhere who are afraid of being who they are. He is taking a big risk given his position but being who you are always pays off in the end.
by Zaina Newesser