Saturday 18 November 2017

Varadkar says he 'came out to himself' at 34

Health Minister Leo Varadkar
Health Minister Leo Varadkar
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he only "came out to himself as gay" two years ago when he was 34.

The Dublin West TD has also revealed that he is in a relationship for the last months, but insists it is still "early days".

"I'm sort of dating the same person now for maybe two months. But it's early days yet," he said.

In January, in an interview with Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ radio, he revealed to the nation that he is a gay man.

However, he says he still hasn't listened back to the interview because he finds it "a little bit embarrassing".

"It's just very personal. I am a relatively private person. I've found it hard to talk about those things.

"But I felt I had to because the referendum was coming up and I didn't think I could go around campaigning as if it didn't matter to me."

He also said it took him until his mid-30s to finally admit to himself that he is a gay man.

"Everyone is different. What I would have done is be very obsessed with work.

"Looking back now that was probably part of the denial mechanism.

"Going back to the 1990s when I was in college it was still something a little bit stigmatised.

"You have all these anxieties about what people will think and how they'll react."

Speaking on 'The Late Late Show' last night, he insisted he is not interested in taking over the leadership of Fine Gael.

He said while it may be something he'll consider in the future, now is not the time.

"There actually isn't a vacancy.

"In 2021, and if I am still in the Dáil and I don't crash and burn before then, yeah, of course I'd be interested."

Irish Independent

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