Dublin-born TV star Darren Kennedy opened up about feeling a sense of “danger” in the streets after a rise in homophobia in Ireland. The presenter also recalled being recently insulted with homophobic slurs in the capital city, as he spoke at the launch of the new Bord Gáis initiative Imagine a Better Way, which will educate homeowners on how to make their properties more energy-efficient.
His speech focused on condemning the “blatant rise of homophobia” that we have recently experienced in Ireland, where the news has reported on a number of homophobic attacks, including the two brutal murders in Sligo and the aggression towards a lesbian couple in Dublin.
“It is important to call it out and not let those things go unchallenged. In this country, the majority believe because we had a marriage equality referendum homophobia is gone,” said the Irish presenter.
“But the problem is there is a very small minority of people who aren’t on that page and think they have a license to attack or verbally abuse people. And that is something I will not stand for. It’s about having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.”
Darren Kennedy also spoke about his experience of recent homophobia following an incident where he was called a slur in the streets of the Irish capital. “I was on Camden Street [in Dublin] it was a lovely sunny day and I was on the street waiting for a takeaway and this group of lads shouted at me ‘there is the f****t off the telly’ and started laughing. And I was stunned to be honest.” he recounted.
These types of attacks have a very negative impact on people even when they don’t result in outright physical violence. They change the perception that the LGBTQ+ community has of their own safety and lead them to be wary of showing affection in public.
The Irish presenter spoke about how even something as simple as holding your partner’s hand in public feels somehow unsafe. “You sense the danger, and that is the awful thing,” he explained.
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