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Dublin: 0 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Carol's story of coming out after #marref was the loveliest moment on First Dates lreland

“For the first time I realised it’s OK to be gay in Ireland. People are behind you.”

LAST NIGHT’S FIRST Dates Ireland was full of great couples, but one date was particularly poignant for some viewers.

ejfirstdates Source: RTÉ Player

carolfirst Source: RTÉ Player

Glamourous gal EJ was paired with Glasnevin native Carol, who came out just last year after spending a lot of time looking for love in the “wrong places”.

“I’d been spending too much time in the Porterhouse and not enough time in The George,” she joked.

She credits the “life-changing” marriage referendum in 2015 for finally giving her the confidence to be who she is:

For the first time I realised it’s OK to be gay in Ireland. People are behind you! There isn’t that stigma that there was 20 years ago. It’s a different place.
That was when I realised – y’know Carol, being true to yourself won’t be so bad. You won’t be judged. People will love you for who you are.

carol ej Source: RTÉ Player

“I always wanted to get married and have children, and I still do, but for some reason I always thought that wasn’t possible if you were gay,” she told EJ.

I’ve gone from a period of really not liking myself to loving myself.

After coming out, Carol took up weight lifting and lost six stone, boosting her confidence even further. Viewers were incredibly moved by her story of self-love and acceptance:

In the end, Carol and EJ didn’t feel a romantic spark, but became instant friends – with EJ offering Carol her services as wingwoman. That’s a win in our books. <3

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