David Norris talks about being gay, changing attitudes to homosexuality in Ireland and life as a student in Trinity College Dublin.
Senator, academic and gay rights campaigner David Norris is a guest on 'Hanly's People'.
In this excerpt from the programme David Norris talks about his sexuality. As founder of the Irish Gay Rights Movement, he challenged the constitutionality of anti-homosexual laws. Presenter David Hanly asks about David Norris's early relationships and feelings.
When did you first become aware that you were homosexual?
David Norris recalls being aware of his homosexuality before he was a teenager and thought of it as perfectly natural. He also describes his relationship with girls growing up and says relates to people on a series of different levels, not just sexually.
Your feelings are not totally sexual. You respond to people on a whole series of different levels.
In his own words, he says that growing up he felt very much,
A square peg in a round hole.
In the past twenty years, David Norris has seen attitudes to homosexuality change in Ireland something he can trace in his collection of press cuttings.
In the beginning, the word 'homosexual' was almost unacceptable. Then, the word 'gay' came in and it was always in capital letters accompanied by inverted commas and a question mark. And gradually over the years, I've watched them drop away until it's now accepted into the language.
David Norris has praise for the Irish Countrywomen's Association for being one of the first groups to come out and demand a programme of education on the subject of AIDS.
Now a tutor at Trinity College he has seen many changes in the college since his time as a student.
This episode of 'Hanly's People' was broadcast on 25 May 1987. The presenter is David Hanly.