The was a lot of coverage of Maria Walsh, the 2014 Rose of Tralee, coming out as gay, and many people wondered why this was news. After all, it IS the 21st century and a person’s sexuality shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
However, Ryan Tubridy explained why it was covered in all the papers:
“It’s a massive deal. Not so much the fact that she’s gay but the fact that she is, I think, the first gay Rose.
“And I would qualify that by saying ‘the first gay Rose to come out’. I think when you look at the number of all the Roses down through all the years, do you think she was the only gay Rose?”
Tubridy then did the maths, and revealed that it’s very unlikely that 100% of the Irish rugby squad are heterosexual:
“I say the same thing about the Irish rugby team. Do you think that all 15 of those boys are heterosexual, you know, full-blooded males? Probably not. Statistically one of them’s probably gay.”
However, Ryan says that whoever he is, he won’t be coming out anytime soon, because while it’s easy for people to say that being gay isn’t an issue anymore, coming out to the public is still a frightening prospect:
“Will he come out? No, no he won’t. Why not? Because that’s why this woman is in the papers today, because she’s come out.
“A lot of people I think are still not willing to come out, particularly at a young age. They’re in the public eye, they are concerned by what people will say still.
“So for all the talk of saying, ‘sure look there’s no news in that, sure it’s easy being gay in the 21st century and 2014′, I don’t know about that.”