Author Colin Bell has been talking about growing up gay in NI and the homophobia he encountered. He described how he was once asked at aged 8 "if he had AIDS yet?". Encouraged by his parents, he left NI at 17.
Inspired by Iris Robinson's now famous homophobic rant, he has written a new play about homophobia in NI.
Iris Robinson's homophobia 'inspires' play
Growing up gay in NI is undoubtedly very difficult but is it harder in the catholic/nationalist/republican community or the protestant/unionist/loyalist community? Does anyone on this forum have any experiences they can share? Did you experience or witness much homophobia growing up?Bell, 33, a gay man originally from Bangor, County Down, lives in Edinburgh with his long-term partner. "Iris Robinson may have been engaged in a homophobic rant, but my play isn't a rant against her," he said. "It is an examination of how other politicians in Northern Ireland are dealing with homosexuality. And it also explores how the Democratic Unionist party [DUP] have changed in the wake of Irisgate."
Colin Bell interview on the John Murray Show
Click on "latest show". Interview starts around 50 minutes in (you can skip directly to this).