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If Leo Varadkar is to be a great Taoiseach, let it not be because he is gay, but because the marginalisation and shame he has known can give him a greater sensitivity to all parts of our society

Opinion by Ray O’Neill

Undoubtedly, I welcome the landmark ‘achievement’ of Ireland getting its first gay Taoiseach, though I’m wary of ‘gay’ quintessentially describing any person. Our being homos does not mean we’re all the same. Someone’s being gay shouldn’t necessarily mean that I have to identify with them, fuck them, or vote for them. Grindr is filled with gay men, but besides liking cock and being lonely and horny, what else do we have in common? Similarly, I would resent my identification or pride in any gay Taoiseach being reduced to the fact that he likes cock too. Now Ireland’s first transparent or truthful Taoiseach, or unprejudiced Taoiseach would be worth celebrating.

Leo, like all gay men and women, bears a legacy of internalised homophobia of one’s sexuality being an impediment if not impossibility to progress and/or happiness in life. Through the years I read his evasive answers to his personal life, and though understanding his impossible position, I never esteemed it. I listened acutely to his contributions to the Civil Partnership Bill in which he desexualised same-sex relationships in associating them with cohabiting siblings; in which he rejected same-sex parenting by saying: “Every child has the right to a mother and father and, as much as is possible, the State should vindicate that right. That is the principle that should underline our laws regarding children and adoption.”

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