Leo Varadkar, a qualified doctor and son of an Indian wins the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to become Ireland’s next Prime Minister.
Varadkar had come out publicly in 2015 on his 36th birthday on national radio. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993. In 2015, Ireland passed the Marriage Equality Bill, allowing same-sex couples to marry.
It signals another stride forward for equality rights in Ireland. To be able to have a young, able, good-looking gay man as prime minister of the country, it says to young people, ‘you can be anything you want, your sexuality doesn’t matter.
Currently, Varadkar is not the only openly gay PM of a country. Second being, Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel. In the past, two other world leaders went public with their sexuality: Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir
He was 22 when Leo Varadkar entered Irish politics. At 27, he was elected to parliament. At 36, he publicly came out as gay. And now, at 38, Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian father and an Irish mother, is Ireland’s next prime minister.
Varadkar has always the backing of Ireland’s Indian community. Prashant Shukla, Chief Executive of the Ireland-India Council told CNN, “Traditionally Indians have tried to integrate themselves in their adopted countries very well and continue making outstanding contributions to their chosen fields around the world due to their sustained hard work, entrepreneurship, family values, adoptable nature, and deep rooted commitment to democracy.
“Perhaps, the same story is going to be repeated by Leo Varadkar in Ireland. This is a proud moment for his father, Dr. Ashok Varadkar and his mother Miriam. Over 30,000-strong Irish-Indian community is interestingly looking forward to it.”
Varadkar is in a relationship with Matthew Barrett, also a doctor. The couple have holidayed together and even met each other’s families.
Varadkar’s Indian relatives had gathered in Mumbai on Friday to celebrate after the news arrived. His 93-year-old uncle, Manohar Varadkar, told the Hindustan Times, “I am extremely proud of Leo. My nephew is doing so well and has made the family name famous across the world.”
The Varadkar family consists of nine siblings. The eldest Madhukar and Manohar were freedom fighters.