Ireland Is About To Do Something It's Never Done Before — And Potentially Make History

Ireland is close to making history.

"He's seven years old when they tell him he's different. 12 years old when he finds out why. The teenage years bring a push, a shove and a bottle to the back of his head. He lives in a world that hates him."

That line comes from a short film by YouTuber and radio host Riyadh Khalaf, in which he tells his story, and the story of others like him, of what it's like growing up gay. Though the video was narrated and directed by Khalaf himself, he is by no means the only person to experience discrimination in his home country of Ireland. 

But that could soon change when it comes to marriage.

On May 22, the citizens of Ireland will have the opportunity to vote on a same-sex marriage referendum to determine the constitutional definition of marriage and whether same-sex marriages should be legalized.

It's a change that Khalaf says could make history. He created a video called "Make History — End Marriage Inequality" to remind others why voting "yes" is so important.

"In this video I tell my story and the battle of adolescence as I discovered who I was," he wrote in the video description. "I tried to change, to hide my sexuality from the world and to 'cure' myself of something that should never be seen as a sickness."

He just wants the right to love and be himself.


"To marry the one that you want to spend the rest of your life with, to grow old and die with, is not a privilege, it's a right."

"Vote for the teachers who have to hide their relationships. For the lesbian attacked on this street."

"I don't want to get down on one knee and ask my soulmate to get civil partshershipped, I want to ask him to marry me."

"Our love has the same meaning, value and important as anyone else's. We'll know how we'll vote. Do you?"

The video was backed by one of the biggest supporters of the referendum, the nonprofit Yes Equality. If the majority of Irish citizens vote "yes," same-sex couples will be able to legally marry. 

As of a December opinion poll, 71 percent of potential voters would vote "yes" to same-sex marriage. 

Ireland, you're close to making history.

Watch the full video below:


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