Irish TV presenter and entrepreneur Darren Kennedy has taken to social media to share an instance of ‘everyday homophobia’ he experienced in Dublin.
While waiting for a takeaway order on Camden street a group of men in their mid to late twenties walked past Darren, and one of them shouted a homophobic slur at him.
Following the incident, Kennedy posted a short video to his Instagram story saying: “People are wondering is Pride still necessary? Yes, it is. Homophobia is alive and well. I’m just standing here on Camden Street in Dublin City Centre, and some guy just went ‘he’s that f****t off the telly.’”
The morning after, he took to Instagram again to thank for the ‘gorgeous messages’ of support he had received. He also took the opportunity to invite people to call casual homophobia out, saying “it is not acceptable if you do that please stop and if you hear someone do that please do not accept it.”
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Kennedy also appeared on NewsTalk’s Lunchtime Live and RTÉ2FM to speak more about how we should not be accepting everyday casual homophobia. While he has received lots of positive feedback for calling out this incident, he mentioned that it is worrying to see “a rise in this type of behaviour,” as many LGBTQ+ people have experienced similar ‘everyday homophobia.’
Many people have reached out to Darren to share their own stories as he recalled one instance where “One person said definitely during the pandemic [they] noticed a rise in this kind of everyday, casual homophobic slur.”
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Kennedy has previously opened up about his past and some traumatic incidents during his teen years. Speaking to NewsTalk, he explained how this recent experience, and the fact that he is talking about it, has brought up old trauma: “I kind of shrunk, and it brought me back to a time in my life where I felt very vulnerable and almost hopeless and shameful.
“I had so much shame when I was in my teenage years coming to terms with my own sexuality that in that one word, so loaded… it just brought me to this place, and I had to call it out – it’s just not good enough.”
Ending his NewsTalk segment, the TV presenter said that he believes most people in Ireland are allies, but not many understand how deeply words like ‘f*g’ and ‘f****t ’ can hurt. “A lot of people… have no idea how deeply that can cut, and I think that’s the problem. It’s really important that we continue to talk about it.”
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