“I discovered my identity through running a college radio show. We had a show called Gaylgeoirí that aired weekly at 6pm on Sundays in the Irish language. I doubt many people actually listened to it, but it was fun! I was running it with a friend, and we discussed multiple topics that were supposed to help me improve my Irish language skills for college, but it ended up being a very significant tool for my self-discovery. It was a safe space to discover my identity as a gay person, primarily because there were very few people in my life at the time who could access or understand the topics we covered. The Irish language served as an excellent filter. The most interesting experience was that many of the gay people I know are involved in Irish, and there is definitely a unique intersection between the queer and Irish communities that I didn’t anticipate. Irish speakers can often feel similarly marginalized in some ways, which may make them more empathetic towards other minority groups.
As I became more comfortable with my identity, I also became more confident and open about being gay. I was able to overcome all the being gay-related obstacles and began to feel more comfortable discussing the more ‘controversial’ LGBTQ+ topics – like equal marriage, crazy right? I always yearned for a sense of community, and perhaps as a young person, I fixated too much on trying to fit in. I was fortunate to later find the football team I now play for, Na Gaeil Aeracha, which has become a backbone for me, allowing me not to care about what the haters think, although I actually enjoy causing a bit of a stir and challenging the status quo anyway. Being gay and also a football player raises many questions about what masculinity actually means, so I began posting about it on my social media, which began to take off and grew significantly since. I am now involved in a lot of activism work for LGBTQ+ groups and communities, focusing on challenging topics such as masculinity and mental health, as well as challenging societal expectations of what we can and can’t do. This ties in closely with Movember’s focus which is why they asked me to be their ambassador for this year.”
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