'I was resigned to going to the grave with my secret'
TV3 broadcaster Ursula Halligan says she was resigned to never coming out about her own sexuality before the same-sex marriage referendum forced her to "confront the issue head on".
Speaking publicly for the first time since revealing she was gay, the political editor said she repressed her feelings because she was afraid she would be stigmatised in her teen years.
"I knew that it was just the worst thing on earth. I knew the names that gay people were called and I didn't want to be one of them. It caused terrible internal mental confusion," she said on the Anton Savage Show on Today FM.
"Before this referendum came along I was resigned to going to my grave with that secret and there must be so many people who have done that."
She added: "The referendum forced me to confront the issue head on. I realised I couldn't sit on the fence, it was too personal. I knew this was a big historic moment and I thought I cannot remain silent on this issue."
She explained she had planned to come out publicly weeks ago but the tragic passing of her brother Aidan made her delay.
It wasn't until she received a text from her brother Peter, who quoted Martin Luther King, that she made the decision.
She said she remained a devout Catholic and thanked all those who "swamped" her with messages of support.