Transcript of Donal Óg Cusack's speech
Below is an edited transcript of Dónal Óg Cusack's speech given at the Foyle Pride Festival
It's an honour to be here this evening. I come from a small village in east Cork called Cloyne. How do I describe home? Well. If I decide to walk to the shop and back that's pretty much the gay pride parade done for the year. So if you guys think you have come a long way, for me being here tonight is like playing Radio City Music Hall.
Growing up in Cloyne we didn't have a gay scene. We didn't have any scene really but we especially didn't have a gay scene. So I've always been a little bit innocent in that way. I was thinking of that on the drive up here today, something that happened just a couple of years ago when I said to a straight friend of mine that I thought a man we both knew might be gay.
What makes you think that? he said.
Ah, he just used a word there yesterday that only gay people would know.
Really said my friend, what was that?
I looked around as if I was about to give away a state secret of the gay republic of cork. I practically whispered it.
About twenty minutes later when he'd stopped laughing at me he explained that there were fellas running the Taliban in downtown Kabul who would be making jokes about who had the best gaydar.
What about in the DUP? I said.
Time, Dónal Óg. All in time.
It's a long drive up here and I had plenty of time to think along the way ( that won't necessarily be reflected in this speech which is stuff I lifted from Wikipedia!). It struck me as an odd thing to be driving all this way to open this festival knowing that when I get here most of the audience will neither know nor care about who or what I am and knowing that back home there's a section of the world who would see me being here as the only thing that I am.