This Man Could Become Ireland's First Openly Gay Prime Minister

Leo Varadkar is in the running to become Ireland's next prime minister. And if he wins, he'll make history in more ways than one.
Posted at 1:45 PM, Jun 02, 2017

Irish politician Leo Varadkar is currently running to be the country's next prime minister.

"I think we're a great country, but I think we can be so much better," Varadkar said.

And if he wins, he'll make history in more ways than one.

Varadkar, 38, was born and raised in Dublin. His mother is Irish, but his father emigrated from India.

His parents both worked in medicine, so it's no surprise that he became a trained doctor.

But he also had an interest in politics from a young age. He was only 22when he first entered Ireland's political scene.

At age 27, he was elected to Parliament.

And two years ago, he came out as gay on Irish national radio.

"It's not something that defines me. I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician, or a gay politician, for that matter. It's just part of who I am," Varadkar told RTE Radio 1 in January 2015.

If Varadkar wins the June 2 election, he will become the youngest politician to hold the office. He would also be Ireland's first leader of Asian descent and its first openly gay leader.

And that's a pretty big deal for the once-fiercely Catholic country. Ireland didn't decriminalize homosexuality until 1993.

But the country has turned over a new leaf in recent years. After all, in 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.