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Leo Varadkar’s experience hasn’t made him more compassionate

There is always a balance to be struck for a gay person in the public eye. 

On one hand they have the opportunity to provide an example for other people dealing with the same emotional issues on whether to be open about their sexuality.

But on the other hand the emotional impact of revealing your sexuality is something a heterosexual person will never understand because they never have to explain themselves, not just once but repeatedly for the rest of their life.

People say it’s no big deal and with sincerity, while never really understanding just how big a deal it actually is.

The undercurrent of course is that LGBT people should be grateful that heterosexual people have no ‘problem’ with us, rather than asking why would a LGBT person have to fear someone finding out they are gay at all in the first place.

It is interesting too that despite his own experience of being marginalised... Remarkably his experience doesn’t seem to have had any impact on tempering his willingness to put the boot into a range of other people — who also find their lives marginalised through circumstances they had no say over, such as being born into a dysfunctional family or an economically deprived area.

Since 2011, he has been a cabinet minister and I think most people would be at loss to set out anything he has actually achieved so far.

His time as transport minister was a period of paper shuffling blandness where none of the embedded problems of the Irish transport system were addressed.

Similarly to-date, his time as health minister is also noticeable for its lack of ambition.

The location of the children’s hospital is still not decided. Absolutely nothing has been done to provide a health service that is free at the point of use that would in fact cost less than any other system, when one compares the price per head the Irish taxpayer spends on health, compared to the level of service other countries with a free NHS system provide.

The most vulnerable in Irish society are still having to battle for a medical card despite a promise they would not have to.

So, lest anyone claim to be surprised later on, no one should be under any delusion that any experience of being marginalised due to his sexuality, will filter down into a more compassionate conservatism from Mr Varadkar.

The reality is that he will still continue to support and vote for every single decision of the government of which he has been a member since it was formed, to chip away at the welfare state safety nets, and concentrate the wealth of the country into fewer and fewer hands.

The media coverage of Mr Varadkar coming out is disingenuous when the same level of attention isn’t directed to his actual decisions as part of the government.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf



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