A fourth LGBT premier – but it’s LGGG
Leo Varadkar has been elected leader of Fine Gael – making him the first openly gay leader of the Republic of Ireland and the fourth out-LGBT national leader in modern times. He replaces Enda Kenny, whose resignation was announced on 17th May – coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The only other currently out premier is Xavier Bettel, who has been Prime Minister of Luxembourg for four years.
Previously Iceland’s Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo became premier for their respective countries. All four have taken office in the last eight years: it’s still a pretty new phenomenon.
There is diversity in political opinion amongst them – Varadkar a conservative, Bettel a liberal, Sigurðardóttir socialist and Di Rupo a social democrat. This is welcome in making sexuality a matter not tied to politics of right or left, so that equality in law is less likely to ebb and flow with shifts of political power over time.
However it is notable that they are all out as lesbian or gay.
The general trend of the first two letters in LGBT being at the forefront of visibility and acceptability seems to remain in place.
Who, where, will be the first out bi and trans world leaders? And how long will we have to wait?