Irish comedian Eleanor Tiernan spoke openly about her struggles with coming out later in life during a heartfelt interview on the Insane In The Fem Brain Podcast.
During a recent episode of Rich Wilson’s podcast, Tiernan detailed her journey towards coming out to family and friends. The comedian expressed, “I started going through that process of owning the fact that I’m gay, and sharing with and including people in my life, living my life as a lesbian. It’s been great.”
Tiernan noted that she never felt confident enough to be open about her sexuality in her mid-20s. She said, “I think possibly the short version of what happened is when I was quite young, I had a bullying experience in school and I became very alert to not giving anybody information that could be used against me… It just seemed like a way to help people who wanted to harm me. I waited a good 20 years to see, to make sure.”
Over the years, Tiernan struggled with coming out later in life and kept telling herself, “You can’t come out over 40, that’s daft.” As she further shared, “When you have that going on, a lot of it’s unconscious, but you put an enormous amount of energy, emotional energy, intellectual energy, a lot of physical energy as well into curtailing and protecting a certain secret that you have. You’re trying to protect yourself by doing that but ultimately, I guess, it’s like putting a weight on a structure that it can’t hold, or it’s not designed to hold.”
After watching Philip Schofield publicly open up about his sexuality, Tiernan felt more confident in speaking about her own experiences. The comedian described how his coming out impacted her, “There was two factors about him that really chipped away at my head which is, one, that he was older than me, and I had been telling myself up to that point, ‘You can’t come out over 40, that’s daft.’ I had to say, ‘OK, anybody can be gay Eleanor, and you can be gay.’ That was a big factor in it.”
On Twitter, Tiernan shared the Insane In The Fem Brain podcast episode along with the following message, “It is my nervous and joyous pleasure to tell you all that I am gay. A gay woman. Lesbian if you will. It’s something I’ve come to later in life (usual for me) but very much here and queer now.”
My news… it is my nervous and joyous pleasure to tell you all that I am gay. A gay woman. Lesbian if you will. It’s something I’ve come to later in life (usual for me) but very much here and queer now. If you would like to hear more pls listen below. Much love ET ❤️🏳️🌈👭 https://t.co/tTMMcFclOJ
— Eleanor Tiernan (@eleanortiernan) June 25, 2020
After opening up about her sexuality on social media, Eleanor Tiernan was flooded with praise and acceptance from a wide range of people. Underneath her post, the comedian further wrote, “What an amazing community we have going on here. I was super lonely about this for so long and genuinely didn’t know support like this was here and feeling very lucky to have it.”
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