Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s new Prime Minister (Taoiseach) mesmerized half the world, who were stunned to see the son of an Indian immigrant who came out in 2015 become the leader of the country’s main governing party Fine Gael.
Ireland has its first gay, biracial leader. At 38, he’s its youngest ever too. But not everyone sees his selection as clear evidence of a new, pluralist and more compassionate Ireland.
This weekend, in time for Pride in both Dublin and New York City, spoken word artist Oisin McKenna has released a blistering new short film for his poem “Gay, Male, Votes Fine Gael.” The poem tells the story of a fictional – though rather recognizable – right wing gay man who, not unlike Prime Minister Varadkar, gets up at 6AM like his idol Margaret Thatcher.
“This month when it became clear Leo Varadkar was being elected Taoiseach it felt that there would never be a more timely moment to put this poem out on the internet,” McKenna told IrishCentral.
“It is tempting to celebrate Ireland as having an openly gay prime minister and see that as symbolic as some sort of progress, but when his policies and the policies of his parties are far from progressive we need to call it out when we can.”
“From abortion rights to austerity, there are many people in Ireland who have yet to experience the benefits of our new found progressiveness. Leo Varadkar, who himself recently designed a classist and alarmist anti-welfare fraud campaign, was part of a government who orchestrated an economic recovery only felt by the rich. I don't think we should be celebrating that as symbolic of any kind of progress.” Read more via Irish Central