Richard O'Leary he/him
Richard O’Leary is a gay activist from Cork.
Richard was born in 1964 in Cork where he grew up.
Richard began his gay activism in 1988 as a student with ‘Gaysoc’ at Queen’s University Belfast.
In 2006 Richard and his late partner (Mervyn Kingston) took a landmark successful discrimination case against Ireland’s Department of Social Welfare (Social Protection) to recognise them as a couple. Richard and Mervyn were later successful in challenging the refusal of Mervyn’s occupational pension provider to provide equality to Richard as a surviving civil partner.
In 2007 Richard and Mervyn co-founded the Church of Ireland pro-LGBT campaign group Changing Attitude Ireland and in 2014 Richard co-founded ‘Faith in Marriage Equality’ which took an active part in the Republic of Ireland's referendum for marriage equality.
Richard was a Lecturer in sociology at Queen’s University Belfast 2000-10. He was Coordinator of the LGBT Heritage Project NI Jan 2020-April 2021. He is a Visiting Scholar in the School of History at Queen’s University.
Richard is a live performance storyteller with a queer twist and his solo shows include ‘There’s a Bishop in my Bedroom’ (2017) and ‘My Queer History of Northern Ireland’ (2021).