‘I want to be an equal citizen in my own country,’ said Irish Minister for Health Leo Varadkar on the radio this morning (18 January).
Varadkar was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÃ‰ Radio one this morning when he publicly announced he is gay.
He said he wanted to be honest ahead of the Irish referendum on gay marriage.
‘I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know,’ he said.
‘I have always put the career and job and politics first. I am a very private person.
‘I didn’t give much time to my personal life at least until the last couple of years. It’s only in the last two years I have given time to personal life.’
Originally from Dublin, Varadkar is celebrating his 36th birthday today.
Comedian Dara Ã“ Briain congratulated him on Twitter.
‘Oh, and fair play Leo Varadkar, although the nicest thing is, it hardly seems to be causing any storm,’ he said.
Drag queen Panti Bliss said: ‘Well done Minister Leo Varadkar. He didn’t just come out on the radio (he was already out) but he just spoke about publicly for first time.’
‘Fair play to Minister @campaignforleo for coming out as Gay. On live radio no less. It must have taken a lot of courage,’ said Twitter user Thomas O’Mahony.
‘Fantastic to see someone in the public eye stand up and be honest about who they are. Brave and inspirational,’ said Claire O’Hara McHugh.