Colin Farrell has written a heartfelt op-ed for the Sunday World, a paper in Ireland, in which he pleads for readers to vote for same sex marriage rights. The actor, born and raised in Dublin, candidly and intimately opens up about his gay brother, Eamon, and his sibling’s awful experiences with homophobia growing up in the Irish country.
Farrell writes, “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,” says the actor. “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.”
Farrell notes, “I don’t know where those bullies are now, the ones who beat him regularly. Maybe some of them have found peace and would rather forget their own part of a painful past. Maybe they’re sitting on bar stools and talking about ‘birds and f*ggots’ and why one’s the cure and the other the disease.” He goes on, “But I do know where my brother is. He’s at home in Dublin living in peace and love with his husband of some years, Steven. They are about the healthiest and happiest couple I know. They had to travel a little farther than down the aisle to make their vows, though, to Canada, where their marriage was celebrated.”
“That’s why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE,” writes Farrell. “It’s time to right the scales of justice here. To sign up and register to vote next year so that each individual’s voice can be heard.”
Farrell further points out, “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.” The full piece appears in the Sunday World print edition. Farrell is pictured above with Eamon in 2003. What do you think of his column?