Graham Norton thinks if he had come out in Ireland he may have ended up “dead in a ditch”.
The openly gay Irish BBC TV and radio presenter recalled growing up in his home country and although Ireland became the first ever country to legalise same-sex marriage through a national vote back in 2015, Norton said if he came out it would have been more difficult because there “were no gay people”.
He told the Irish Examiner: “Narrow-minded doesn’t cover it. It was un-minded. It didn’t exist!
“Ireland’s a great one for ignoring problems. There were no gay people, so you couldn’t be homophobic.
“It’s like there was no racism because there was no other race. We had to hate Catholic and Protestants because there was no one else to hate!
“If I had come out, it would have been more than difficult. I may have been dead in a ditch.”
When he came out to his parents, he believes that they just worried about him because of the generation they grew up in.
He continued: “In my parents’ generation, if you saw a gay person in a drama, the chances are they weren’t that happy.
“They were either the murder victim, a serial killer, or they’d kill themselves. They didn’t live next door.
“They were there for a dark reason. To discover that’s the role your kid has cast themselves in is distressing.
“But what’s great is that my father, before he died, and my mum were both part of my world in London.
“They met me and my partner at the time and have known my friends all those years. My mother is very much part of my whole world and doesn’t worry about me now.”