An Irish cabinet minister has become the latest politician in the country to come out as gay in a beautifully-worded social media post.
Fianna Fáil TD and minister for roads Jack Chambers made the announcement in a post on Instagram on Sunday (14 January).
“As I look forward to 2024 I am sharing with you something a little different but it’s something I wanted to do for a while,” he wrote.
“As a politician it can sometimes be difficult to speak about my own personal life and that can lead to things drifting. However, It’s important for me to be true to myself firstly – and to you all in my public service role.
“I am starting 2024 by telling you all that I am proud to say that I am gay.
“As a politician and citizen I want to share this today as part of who I am.”
“Having shared it with many of my close family and friends, their support and love has given me the confidence and courage to share this publicly today,” Chambers continued in his heartwarming post.
“I am fortunate that Ireland is a country that has made so many strides in recent years – becoming a much more inclusive and equal society to the extent that the sharing of this information is becoming increasingly unremarkable.”
The former government chief whip and Dublin West politician concluded by saying he is “looking forward to a busy, productive and hard-working year ahead as a TD for Dublin West”.
Chambers joins several LGBTQ+ politicians in the country, including Social Democratic deputy leader Cian O’Callaghan and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The first out gay politician in Ireland was David Norris, who has served as senator since 1987 and worked to overturn Ireland’s ban on homosexuality. Since then, Ireland has continued to improve its laws to protect LGBTQ+ rights.
According to the community-driven index Equaldex, Ireland is ranked 29th for LGBTQ+ rights globally.
As of June 2023, around 79 per cent of people in Ireland said they view their local area as a “good place” for LGBTQ+ people, according to a Gallup poll.
Meanwhile, an Ipsos study from early 2023 found that 80 per cent of Irish citizens support discrimination protections for trans people.