Thursday 29 September 2016

RTE's Stephen Byrne's fears on coming out: 'I worried that I would be labelled as the gay presenter'

Published 16/06/2015 | 07:57

Stephen Byrne
Stephen Byrne
Stephen Byrne & Blathnaid Treacy pictured at the Irish Premiere of ‘Big Hero 6’ in the Savoy Cinema Dublin
Stephen Byrne pictured at the Irish Premiere of Into The Woods. At cinemas nationwide from Jan 9. Photo: Anthony Woods
RTE presenter Stephen Byrne

RTE star Stephen Byrne has spoken out for the first time about coming out and his fears of being labelled as ‘the gay presenter’.

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The 25-year-old, who presents TwoTube on RTE Two, said he only came out five years ago.

“I only came out when I was 20 so it was late enough.

“And when I started work, I was stupidly worried that I would be labelled as ‘the gay presenter’ but it wasn’t like that at all”, he told the RTE Guide.

The presenter, who first came to prominence through his YouTube channel, also said the recent equal marriage referendum was a hugely positive experience for his relationships.

“The referendum changed my relationship with a lot of people.

Stephen Byrne & Blathnaid Treacy pictured at the Irish Premiere of ‘Big Hero 6’ in the Savoy Cinema Dublin
Stephen Byrne & Blathnaid Treacy pictured at the Irish Premiere of ‘Big Hero 6’ in the Savoy Cinema Dublin

“People opened up so much that you realise everyone is OK with this. It’s all grand. Even my parents talked about it so much more. My mam was out canvassing every single night.”

As an RTE employee he was banned from taking a side publicly, however he said he understood the state broadcaster’s decision to impose the ban.

“Obviously we couldn’t talk about it for a long time which I totally understood. I had never really talked about it before anyway.

He said that because he was banned from taking a public role, his mother went out canvassing for him instead.

Stephen Byrne pictured at the Irish Premiere of Into The Woods. At cinemas nationwide from Jan 9. Photo: Anthony Woods
Stephen Byrne pictured at the Irish Premiere of Into The Woods. At cinemas nationwide from Jan 9. Photo: Anthony Woods

“I obviously couldn’t do anything so she took it upon herself to go out Monday to Friday. She was brilliant.”

He added that the ‘Yes’ vote was ‘a victory for everyone’.

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