Sunday 21 April 2019

RTE star Brendan Courtney 'sick and tired' of homophobic abuse shouted at him on street

Brendan Courtney
Brendan Courtney
Brendan Courtney
Brendan Courtney and Catherine Donnelly at the Kilkenney autumn/winter launch at Kilkenny on Nassau Street in Dublin
Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon. Photo: Andrew Downes

Elaine McCahill and Kirsty Blake Knox

Broadcaster and designer Brendan Courtney was left "shaken" after he was verbally assaulted in Dublin's city centre in broad daylight.

Courtney was walking down Dublin's Exchequer Street when two men verbally abused him using a highly derogatory homophobic term.

Brendan Courtney
Brendan Courtney

"I was wandering down the street when they shouted, 'There's the faggot off the telly'," Courtney told the Herald.

"On a human level it's mortifying to be called something like that in such a public place.

Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon advise on office style. Photo: Paul Sherwood.
Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon advise on office style. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

"Everyone is looking at you and you feel very exposed," he admitted.

Read more: (Warning: contains nudity) Sonya Lennon poses nude for positive body image message

Brendan Courtney pictured at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2014
Brendan Courtney pictured at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2014

"Then I just felt extremely angry because it's mental that people can still be so ignorant."

Courtney said that it's not unusual for vulgarities to be shouted at gay people in Dublin.

"If you ask any other notorious gay in this city, they'll say it's part of their life but I'm not accepting it any more.

"I was just so angry yesterday morning," he admitted.

Brendan also revealed that he had stopped posting about these incidents online until recently.

"Things like this don't happen constantly but they do happen a lot and I used to post online about them all the time.

"I stopped mentioning it for a while and then everything happened with Panti and then I saw how badly he was treated.

"I felt solidarity with Panti and so I started posting about these incidents again," he said, referring to how drag queen 'Panti Bliss' aka Rory O'Neill spoke out about homophobia earlier this year.

Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney
Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney

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Courtney feels "frustrated" and "demoralised" that individuals feel free to use such offensive and aggressive language.

"It reminded me of being back in school," he said.

"It's bullying. I have lived in Dublin all my life, it's my home.

"It's upsetting to be treated in such a disrespectful way, I'm sick of it."

In 2011, Courtney was beaten in a homophobic assault on George's Street.

The individual punched Courtney in the face while shouting 'queer'.

The attack happened the night before the annual Irish Film and Television Awards.

Courtney attended the awards with a black eye, saying at the time, "It is ironic that it happened before probably the most public night of my life".

"Things like that make you loose a little faith in humanity," Courtney said yesterday.

"It would be great if these things didn't happen but it doesn't seem to be getting better.

"We live in a gorgeous, cosmopolitan, beautiful city and it's alarming and bizarre that this sort of thing still happens," he said.

Irish Independent

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