On This Gay Day: Leo Varadkar becomes Taoiseach in Ireland

Leo Varadkar became the fourth gay head of government in the world

In 2017 Leo Varadkar became the Taoiseach of Ireland when 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.

The first gay head of government was Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir who took office in 2009. Following her Belguim’s Elio Di Rupo made history in 2011, and Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel became the leader of his country in 2013.

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 Varadkar was appointed minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

However, he returned to being the Taoiseach in December 2022. In 2023 he attended the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, making him the serving first Taoiseach to attend a coronation of British monarch.

Since Varadkar’s time as Taoiseach there has only been one more LGBTIQA+ head of government, Serbia’s current Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.

OIP Staff

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