First Dater Jamie reveals he told attackers to 'hit me harder' when he was being 'queer-bashed' after coming out
First Dates Ireland participant Jamie opens up in tonight's episode about being 'queer-bashed' after coming out at 16 years old.
Restaurant manager Jamie (35) tell his date Anthony (30) that he would ask his attackers to hit him harder to make them look stupid and because he refused to let them hurt him in the long run.
Welshman Jamie has been living in Ireland for five years and on his date with Canadian Anthony he says, "It wasn't all roses" about coming out in his hometown.
"I came out at a time when it wasn’t the done thing to do. I got queer-bashed quite a few times as well. Just smile and laugh, always smile and laugh. Go ‘yeah, punch me again, hit me harder. What are you proving by doing it? It has taken seven of you to punch me in the face to prove you are a bigger man than me'.”
It was never one person, Jamie says, but rather groups trying to prove that they were “bigger or harder” than him or that they were “somehow more of a man” than him because they were straight.
“I used to stand there and laugh and ask them to hit me harder,” he says, “Because in my head, if I am standing there laughing at you and asking you for more, you are not hurting me, I am just making you look stupid.
"It hurt the next morning but on a principle level and a mindset level, they achieved nothing by doing that and actually I could stand there and say: 'you didn’t really hurt me in the grand scheme of things. If anything it made me a lot stronger about who I am as a person'.”
Also in tonight's episode Wexford-based best mates Steve (29) and Charlie (30) are getting on famously with their matches Michaela (29) from Westmeath and Amy (29) from Tipperary - until Charlie reveals that Steve is a male stripper.
Several dates also get the opportunity to flex their language muscles as Elizabeth (45) from Cabra charms chicken farmer Clive (49) in French and 18-year-old student Mila sweet talks our maitre d’ Mateo in Croatian before switching to the language of love with 21-year-old amateur footballer Jack.
First Dates Ireland, RTÉ2, February 20th at 9.30pm