Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ireland Is Growing Up

Growing up gay, I found solace in media that had positive portrayals of gay characters. Even the briefest reference held so much value for me.

Now, teens growing up in an environment where "That's so gay!" means that something is inferior or stupid. Regardless of whether or not anyone thinks homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice" or a pre-determined orientation, a positive of gay people is needed because we are inundated with blatant and subtle negative stereotypes that dramatically impact on the self-esteem of gay youth.

So, it was nice to open the Indo a few weeks back and see pictures from the christening of Nicky Byrne's kids. One showed Mark holding hands with his boyfriend, looking happy and relaxed. Amazingly, it didn't attract any comment whatsoever. It shows that things are changing for the better and the Ireland of 2007 is becoming more accepting.


  1. I totally agree with you, it's parents who pass down ideals to their kids, and that's why things are changing. My kids are aware of gay relationships and it's "normal" to them. My mum was quite shocked when my 3 year old told her men could marry men and women could marry women! I was so proud of her!

  2. Weird that my preconception Mr P would be that the media is full of positive gay images these days. Just look at Dr Who, prime time Saturday evening viewing. You;re right - things like Mark from Westlife holding his boyfriend's hand are not commentworthy, at least among most most people these days.

  3. Unfortunately, bigotry and intolerance is still alive in the Ireland of 2007. Even at 31 I've still found myself subject to bullying by graffiti.

  4. You, of course, know better than I do Pinky. My thought was merely about the media and the way being gay is portrayed within it these days. Individual morons are, as always, another kettle of fish.

  5. Hmmm, yeah I had a bit of a dilemma there last time I was home. I said something to my sister and she went 'that's so gay'. I was in shock as I asked her what she meant and she replied, 'ya know, 'naf'. Thing is my sister is THE most inclusive, open-minded, relaxed, anything goes,'friends with EVERYONE' person I know. But she is also a lot more 'Tallaght' than I am (I put this down to the fact that my parents rented a place in Knocklyon for the first 6 months of my life-very impressionable stage of development apparently!) and she uses the phrases that her friends use. Thing is I know she used the word without any reference in a derogatory way to any group of people, hence the dilemma. I left it at that but feel maybe I should have said more especially now hearing that you feel that the use of the word in that context is a step backwards.