Gay television presenter Darren Kennedy has called out “everyday homophobia” after he was called a “f****t” on Camden Street in Dublin.
“I was on Camden Street minding my own business of a Saturday night when a group of guys walked by and one of them pointed directly at me and went, ‘There’s the f****t off the telly,’ and they all laughed,” Darren Kennedy said.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s talking about me. Oh my God, he’s calling me a f****t.’ Is it the first time I’ve been called a f****t? No. Is it the first time in a long time? It is.”
He continued: “I’m fine and thank you all for the gorgeous messages, ’cause I’ve been inundated, I’m absolutely fine. Thank God I’ve got thicker skin than that, but I’m not going to lie to you, I’m going to be honest and say that it did sting in that moment in time.”
Kennedy said the incident “transported” him back to what it was like being a gay teenager facing homophobic abuse from his peers.
He insisted that he is “fine”, but told his followers he felt the need to “call it out and say it’s not acceptable”.
“If you do that, please stop. If you hear someone doing that, please do not accept it, and let’s give each other a break cause life’s tough enough as it is,” he added.
Darren Kennedy felt ’embarrassed’ and ‘shocked’ after being called a ‘f****t’
Speaking on RTÉ 2FM on Monday morning (5 July), Darren Kennedy admitted that the incident was “triggering” – and told host Jennifer Zamparelli that he has faced an uptick in homophobic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I was having a lovely weekend, the sun had come out on Saturday evening, and I was having the biggest dilemma of my weekend and that was what was I going to have for dinner,” Kennedy reflected.
When his boyfriend went into a shop to collect their food, Kennedy was called the homophobic slur by a man he estimated was in his mid to late 20s.
Kennedy said he was “completely shocked”, adding that he felt “embarrassed” and “emotional” even thinking about it.
Since sharing the video, Kennedy has been inundated with messages from other gay people saying they have also experienced a rise in homophobic incidents in the last 12 to 18 months.