TV star Brendan Courtney on suffering homophobic bullying
Irish television presenter Brendan Courtney has spoken about the bullying he suffered at school for being gay.
The Off The Rails presenter told the Sun: “It was physical and verbal because I was obviously gay.
“But I’m a very forceful person and I just stopped going to school. Then I was caught and I said, ‘Sort them out or I’m not going back in’. I changed schools and I was really popular at the new one, I kind of reinvented myself.”
Courtney, 36, is supporting Console, a charity for people bereaved through suicide.
He was a friend of Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide earlier this year, while he also suffered the death of a school friend who was under exam pressure.
Of his own experiences of growing up gay, he said: “There’s a lot of sexual depression and frustration and guilt.
“I grew up in Tallaght and felt there was nowhere to turn, even though I was in the city.
“The fear of telling people something as massive as that is kind of like if you’re 14 and telling someone you’re pregnant.
“It’s a similar kind of fear, thinking the family might reject you.”