18th Nov 2014
headshot of colin farrell on red carpet
Beyond entertaining the masses, be it in movies or performing on stage, when it comes to fame, those lucky enough are given a wonderful platform on which to make some notable change in the world. It’s a responsibility that not all celebrities respect but thankfully, our very own Colin Farrell knows what he needs to do.
In an open letter published by the Sunday World, the actor shared his strong views in a bid to encourage the legalisation of gay marriage in Ireland. This is a rather personal subject for Colin as his brother Eamon had to marry his partner in Canada, where they now live and where gay marriage is recognised. But this isn’t good enough. Ahead of the forthcoming referendum, Colin urges for his brother’s union and countless others like him to be acknowledged, respected and celebrated in his home country. You can read the full letter over yonder, but here are some noteworthy snippets.
It’s a beautifully articulated plea for change and for this, Colin Farrell, we applaud you.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to never have any issue with the idea of gay union. I think I found out my brother wasn’t grovelling in heterosexual mud like most boys our age when I was around 12. I remember feeling surprised. Intrigued. Curious. Not bi curious before you start getting ideas. I was curious because it was different from?anything?I’d known or heard of and yet it didn’t seem?unnatural?to me. I had no reference for the existence of homosexuality. I had seen, by that age, no gay couples together. I just knew my brother liked men and, I repeat, it didn’t seem?unnatural?to me.
My brother Eamon didn’t choose to be gay. Yes, he chose?to wear?eyeliner to school and that probably wasn’t the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies. But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative. Even when others were casting him out with fists and ridicule and the laughter of pure loathsome derision, he maintained an integrity and dignity that flew in’the face of?the cruelty that befell him.
And?this is?why the forthcoming referendum is so personal to me. It’s about inclusion. It’s about fairness. It’s about giving our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers back a right that should never have been stolen from them in the first place. Speaking out in support of equality in all its forms is a moral necessity if we’re to have a society where peace, compassion and kindness become the ruling classes. Only love in action can stamp out the wilting toxicity of the intolerant among us. Only ink on paper can truly prove that the Irish people are who we’ve held ourselves proudly to be – a people who, in the majority, are deeply feeling and have a natural and abiding lean towards inclusion and fairness, heart and hospitality.
This referendum is a chance for us to arise. To wake up to the conviction that true love from the heart of one being to another cares not for the colour, nor the creed, nor the gender of who it chooses to share that path with. We have a chance to effect a change that’s about recognising no one love is greater than another by virtue of?tradition. We have a chance to simply tip our hats to love in all its kaleidoscopic and majestic forms.
This for me is all about the heart, not the gender. If it’s about the idea of love between consenting adults, then this referendum is as much a heterosexual issue as it is a gay issue. It is for all of us that civil marriage equality must be realised. There are too many things that divide us as a people, let not this be another one. Let this be about not only the matrimonial unity of a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but let it be also about the unity of a community, the unity of an island which has at its heart a gold that this vote speaks to. How often do we get to make history in our lives? Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let’s lead toward light.”
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