Jack Chambers, a member of the Irish political party Fianna Fáil and the current Minister for Roads has publicly come out as gay in a touching Instagram post.
On Sunday, January 14, Chambers shared his personal revelation, stating the importance of being true to himself and the public he serves.
In his heartfelt message, Chambers expressed the challenge of discussing his personal life as a politician but emphasised his desire to start 2024 with openness about his identity. Acknowledging the support and love of his close family and friends, he shared his pride in being gay.
Chambers’ announcement adds him to the list of LGBTQ+ politicians in Ireland, which includes Social Democratic deputy leader Cian O’Callaghan and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He recognised Ireland’s progress in becoming a more inclusive and equal society, where such announcements are increasingly seen as unremarkable.
The post concluded with Chambers looking forward to a productive year ahead as a TD for Dublin West. His coming out is significant in a country that has made considerable strides in LGBTQ+ rights, as evidenced by Ireland’s 29th global ranking for LGBTQ+ rights by Equaldex.
Recent studies reflect the positive attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. A 2023 Gallup poll revealed that 79% of Irish people view their local area as welcoming for LGBTQ+ individuals, and an Ipsos study showed that 80% of citizens support discrimination protections for transgender people. Ireland’s ongoing commitment to LGBTQ+ rights is further highlighted by the legacy of David Norris, the first openly gay Irish politician who has been a senator since 1987 and was instrumental in the fight to decriminalise homosexuality in the country.