Singer Tim Chadwick says Ireland is still not totally safe for LGBTQ+ community
In an exclusive interview with Sunday World, Tim reveals that LGBTQ+ people are still being assaulted and harassed
IRISH singer Tim Chadwick says that while we were the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, Ireland is still not a totally safe or comfortable place for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The popular entertainer is one of the artists set to perform a very special night of live music, queer performance and art in celebration of Irish LGBTQ+ club culture at Cultúr Club on March 16 — the eve of the St Patrick’s Day Festival at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin’s Collins Barracks.
In an exclusive interview with Sunday World’s Shuffle, Tim reveals that LGBTQ+ people are still being assaulted and harassed.
“I wish I could say that one day we will have absolute equality, but I don’t see it happening any time soon,” he says.
“There is still so much bigotry and hate, or whatever it is. We have a long way to go in terms of getting past that. To have that [the first country to legalise same sex marriage] on the Irish CV as something that we have done that is incredible is great — but let’s all live up to it. The fact that we were the first to pass that bill doesn’t make sense if it’s not being felt on the street.
“As much as we can celebrate how far we have come, especially things like Pride and stuff like that, there are still incidences, which we see constantly, where LGBTQ+ people are being attacked, harassed or laughed at on public transport and on the streets after a night out.
“I would say it’s a minority, but a minority can still do so much damage. I’ve felt uncomfortable on public transport when I was with a partner, having people just looking and sniggering and laughing.
“I don’t think you will find a day in Ireland today where someone hasn’t been harassed or subjected to some sort of hate because of their sexual orientation, and that’s just not good enough.”
Chadwick, who is a rising star on the Irish music scene, is known for what has been described as his “sad bangers.”
The singer-songwriter draws on his personal life and relationships as the inspiration for his songs of hurt and heartbreak that are dressed up in upbeat tunes.
“The songs have a bit of heartbreak in them, but because of the pop productions you’d never know until you sit down and see the words. Then you’d go, ‘Oh, are you OK?’” Tim says.
Chadwick (31) says he’s been unlucky in love throughout his twenties. “I wouldn’t say I’m not good in relationships, but I’m not good at picking good people,” he laughs
“I had a lot to learn about navigating dating and relationships as a queer person, and I’m learning a lot later than most people because you kind of restrict yourself as a teenager. Then as you get into your 20s you are thrown into figuring out how to navigate people. I’m still learning.
“I’m a firm believer in monogamy. When I’m in a relationship I’m all in, but that’s just the way that I choose to live my life. I don’t find fault in people doing whatever they want to do, but I need to feel safe and comfortable, so monogamy is the way to go for me.”
The entertainer credits his parents and family with supporting him when he first came out.
“Coming out was obviously difficult, but when it came to it, it was the easiest and the best thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “I got to be myself. I have the most amazing parents, family and friends. They all jumped on board.
“I would say to any young person who is struggling to come out, ‘do it when you are ready.’ There are organisations like BeLonG To, GLEN and Outhouse to talk to if you need advice and are uncomfortable sharing with friends and family.”
The lowdown: Tim Chadwick will play Cultúr Club at the St Patrick’s Festival opening night on March 16.
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