On This Gay Day: Irish politician Leo Varadkar publicly came out

In 2015 Irish politician Leo Varadkar publicly announced he is gay

In 2015 on this day Irish politician Leo Varadkar publicly announced he was gay during a radio interview. The politician shared the information about his sexuality as the country headed towards a national referendum on same-sex marriage. Varadkar made the announcement on his 36th birthday.

“I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know,”  Varadkar said.

“I have always put the career and job and politics first. I am a very private person.

“I didn’t give much time to my personal life at least until the last couple of years. It’s only in the last two years I have given time to personal life.”

Leo Varadkar was elected to Irish parliament in 2007 and was appointed to the position of Health Minister in July 2014. The politician told the interviewer that  his sexuality did not define him.

“It’s not something that defines me, I’m not a half-Indian politician or a doctor politician, I’m not a gay politician for that matter, it’s just part of who I am.” Varadkar said.

Four months later the country voted overwhelmingly to support marriage equality.

In June 2017 he was elected leader of his political party Fine Gael, making him Ireland’s first same-sex attracted leader, and the fourth gay head of state in the world.

As Taoiseach, Ireland’s name for their Prime Minister, Varadkar enjoyed incredibly high popularity in opinion polls and was expected to be returned at the 2020 election. However his party ended up coming third and he resigned as the country’s leader.

The new Irish  government ended up being a three-way coalition between Fine Gael, rivals  Fianna Fáil and the Green party. In the new government Vradkar was appointed minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Also on this day in history.

In 1996 TV show Friends brought a same-sex marriage into homes around the world when Carol, Ross’s ex-wife married her partner Susan. LGBTI rights activist Candace Gingrich, played the minister on the scene that was watched in the USA by 31.6 million people.

In 1999 Zimbabwe’s first president of Zimbabwe, Canaan Sodindo Banana is convicted on 11 counts of sodomy. At the time his successor president Mugabe, who had replaced Banana in 1987, was scapegoating homosexuals as the reason for Zimbabwe’s ills. Banana served six months of a 10-year sentence before moving to the UK for political asylum. He died in 2003, his wife later claimed that he was bisexual.

In 2004 the first episode of TV show The L Word aired in the USA with Jenny moving to California to be with her boyfriend Tim. After she meets gay couple Bette and Tina she begins a journey of exploring her own sexuality. The show recently returned to the screens as the revamped The L Word: Generation Q. 

OIP Staff