Irish gay disability activist Paddy Smyth has entered the reality TV game show, The Circle.
The Circle is a Channel 4 reality show which revolves around a group of contestants who all live in isolation in the same apartment complex and never meet in person. Their only interactions are through the online messaging system – The Circle – which allows contestants to either play themselves or construct a new identity.
Paddy has chosen to be himself in The Circle but has chosen not to reveal that he is living with cerebral palsy straight away.
In a preview clip from this evenings episode, he opens up to fellow contestant Georgina about his disability and shares with her his reason for not letting everyone know from the get go:
“It’s that I wanted to feel what it would be like for once to just be me and not be that disabled guy.
“Only when you have a medical condition do you understand how different life can be sometimes.
“I love my life, and I love like what I’m about, and I like breaking barriers, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel shit about it sometimes, or just sometimes I wish things were different.”
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"It's that I wanted to feel what it would be like for once, to just be me and not that disabled guy" 🥺 Paddy opening up to @georginaaurelia tonight was a real tear jerker. Sometimes the strongest, happiest looking people are fighting the hardest battles 💚 @c4thecircle #thecircle
In a piece for GCN, Paddy spoke about how difficult the dating scene can be especially as it can be very image-based. He closed with an inspirational and unique piece of advice.
“I’m speaking at an event for younger people with the theme ‘What advice would you give to your younger self?’. The advice I would give to my younger self would be to believe in myself more. And to not try so hard to fit in- to accept my own flag and fly it. And don’t be afraid not to be liked! Have the confidence in yourself to be okay with people not liking you.”
Paddy has been a trailblazer for LGBT+ and disabled people in the Irish media, appearing on First Dates Ireland and as host of the RTÉ fashion show The Fitting Room. He is now sharing his inspirational message on an international stage, and all of us here at GCN Towers are Team Paddy all the way!
All episodes of The Circle are available to watch online and catch up on via All4.
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