Former Fianna Fáil Minister Pat Carey Comes Out

Former Fianna Fáil Minister Pat Carey has come out publicly as a gay man, hoping it will change the opinions of the people of his generation.

Former Fianna Fáil Minister Pat Carey

“There are lots of men, and indeed women, of my generation who have the same difficulty that I had in coming to terms with how you articulate your gender issues,” he told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One today.
Pat Carey was the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs under the Fianna Fáil government. He retired from politics when he lost his Dublin North-West seat in 2011.

The former TD said it was only with the collapse of the Fianna Fail Government that he had time to reflect on, and speak about, his sexuality.

“I never had the confidence or the courage to do it, and it gets to a stage where you probably say to yourself ‘it’s too late for me to start talking about it now’,” he said.

He said in a radio interview today that Minister Leo Varadkar was his inspiration for coming out now: “I said that if I got the opportunity — I said it to myself, I didn’t say it to anybody else — that maybe my perspective might be helpful to other people of my age.”

Upon coming out four years ago, the 67 year-old told The Irish Times of a few “quite crude comments from people that [he] felt should have known better.”

He added, “Some people, I forgive them for their crude use of language at times because they’ve never been exposed to having to argue a position that clearly is new.”

The former minister has revealed what he thinks about the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum and the Family Relationships Bill.

“There’s a huge amount of soft support for it, but […] getting people to come out and vote on the day of the referendum is going to be the biggest challenge,” he told Pat Kenny separately in an interview with Newstalk radio this morning.

“If I have a concern about this debate it is that the Family Relationships bill, that ought to have been passed by now really, the debate around that is going to be confused with the issues around marriage equality, which is a pity,” he said.

Some nice Twitter reactions:

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