Panti Bliss

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Rory O'Neill as Panti Bliss (2013)

Panti Bliss (* 1968 in Ballinrobe , real name Rory O'Neill) is an Irish drag queen and LGBT activist.


Rory O'Neill was born in 1968 to a veterinarian in Ballinrobe, Ireland. He attended the Art College in Dún Laoghaire .


As Panti Bliss, O'Neill became the most famous drag queen in Ireland . In 1990 she made her first television appearance on Ireland's public broadcaster RTÉ . From 1996 to 2012 she presented the Alternative Miss Ireland beauty pageant.

She is also known as an activist for LGBT rights and is the official representative of the annual “Dublin Pride” held in June, where she also campaigned for the opening of marriage in Ireland, which was finally made possible by a referendum in 2015. In this role, she is also a frequent guest speaker at conferences and meetings. On November 30, 2007 she opened the "Pantibar" named after her in Dublin . On October 21, 2015, the film "The Queen of Ireland" premiered; a multi-year documentary by Conor Horgan about the life of Rory O'Neill, his career as "Panti Bliss" and his fight for LGBT equality.

Scandal about homophobia comment on RTÉ ("Pantigate")

On January 11, 2014, Panti Bliss discussed homophobia on RTÉ One on The Saturday Night Show with its host Brendan O'Connor . She stated that some people in Irish journalism are homophobic. This incident developed into the so-called "Pantigate". The people mentioned threatened RTÉ and Panti Bliss with a lawsuit. RTÉ then removed the relevant point from its online archive. On the January 25, 2014 issue of the Saturday Night Show , host Brendan O'Connor publicly apologized on behalf of RTÉ to the people named on the show two weeks earlier. RTÉ paid the persons concerned 85,000 euros.

As a result, RTÉ's buckling was criticized and viewed as an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press as well as censorship. The Irish parliament Oireachtas also debated the incident. The EU Parliament also discussed the incident. Irish MEP Paul Murphy criticized the payment as “a real attack on the freedom of speech” and continued: “When John Waters says that gay marriage is 'a kind of satire', that is homophobia. When Breda O'Brien says 'equality must take second place to the common good', that is homophobia. When the Iona Institute campaign against gay marriage because it is gay marriage, that is homophobia. "

On February 1, 2014, Panti Bliss gave a speech at the Abbey Theater in Dublin, referring to the incident and again taking a stand against homophobia. A recording of the speech posted on Youtube received more than 200,000 views in the first two days.

Fintan O'Toole, columnist and critic for the Irish Times and for several years for the New York Daily News , described the speech as “the most eloquent Irish speech” in almost 200 years. Numerous journalists, authors, actors, musicians and other cultural workers supported Panti Bliss and agreed with her statements; including Dan Savage , Madonna , Stephen Fry , RuPaul , Graham Norton and other celebrities. As a result, T-shirts with the imprint "I'm on Team Panti" were sold; The sales proceeds of over 10,000 euros benefited LGBT young people. As a sign of protest, numerous viewers wore the T-shirts in a live broadcast by RTÉ. In March 2014, the Pet Shop Boys published a video as a sign of solidarity in which they underscored the speech with their music and a collage of images showing homophobia.


  • 2005: sprint! Sister! Spurt!
  • 2007: In These Shoes
  • 2007: All Dolled Up
  • 2009: A Woman In Progress
  • 2014: High Heels in Low Places


  • 2015: The Queen of Ireland


  • 2014: Woman in the Making: A memoir (Hachette Books Ireland).


  • 2009: "Business Person of the Year" - Gay and Lesbian Awards
  • 2010: "Best Blog Post" - Irish Blog Awards
  • 2014: Attitude's Editor's Special Award - Attitude Magazine Awards
  • 2014: "Award for contribution to Irish society" - People of the Year Awards
  • 2015: "James Joyce Award" from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin
  • 2015: Honorary Degree from Trinity College Dublin for services to LGBT rights and marriage opening

Web links


  1. Una Mullally: Panti Unstitched , The Irish Times, July 15, 2013.
  2. Panti is Seán The Transvestite Farmer RTÉ, October 9, 1990.
  3. 'Gay Christmas' is canceled. So long, Alternative Miss Ireland ( October 15, 2011 memento on the Internet Archive ) Irish Times, October 15, 2011.
  4. ^ Barry Egan: Glamor queen is not amused , Irish Independent, September 6, 2009.
  5. ^ Queen of Ireland premiere goes nationwide , RTÉ, October 3, 2015.
  6. See Panti doc The Queen of Ireland first with live interview! , Irish Examiner, October 7, 2015.
  7. Niamh Horan: 'Pantigate' row rumbles on as journalist takes extended leave , Irish News, February 23, 2014.
  8. Chrissy Curtin: Pantigate: An Illustrated Timeline , December 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Cahir O'Doherty: Columnist John Waters in a Panti twist over anti-gay claims , IrishCentral, January 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Brian Byrne: RTE cuts part of show after legal complaint from Waters , Irish Independent, January 16, 2014.
  11. RTÉ apologises for 'distress' caused by Saturday Night Show guest's comments , The Journal, January 26, 2014.
  12. RTE paid out € 85,000 in 'homophobe' row , Irish Independent, February 2, 2014.
  13. Catherine Murphy: Column: Panti Bliss controversy raises major questions about RTE's role in public discourse , The Journal, Jan. 30, 2014.
  14. ^ Clare Daly, RTE's Censorship and Double Standards Condones Prejudice. , January 30, 2014.
  15. European Parliament: Sitting of 2014-02-03
  16. David Norris and Paul Murphy raise homophobia in Irish and EU parliaments , The Journal, February 4, 2014.
  17. Suzanne Lynch: MEPs call on EU to implement road map to combat homophobia , The Irish Times, February 5, 2014.
  18. Sunnivie Brydum: WATCH: Irish Lawmakers Call Out 'Rampant Homophobia' , The Advocate, February 5th, 2014.
  19. James Nichols: Panti Bliss, Irish Drag Queen, Gives Impassioned Speech About Homophobia , The Huffington Post, February 3, 2014.
  20. Nick Ramsey, Irish drag queen gives impassioned speech on gay rights , MSNBC, Feb. 3, 2014.
  21. ^ Dan Buckley: Maybe we are not as tolerant as we think , Irish Examiner, February 6, 2014.
  22. Peter McGuire: What Makes a Homophobe? Ireland's Debate Goes Global , The Huffington Post, February 11, 2014.
  23. Dan Savage: Stupid Irish Homophobes and Their Big Homophobic Fail , The Stranger, February 5, 2014.
  24. Joyce Fegan: Panti, Madge is on your side , Irish Independent, February 9, 2014.
  25. ^ Brian Byrne: Comic Norton shows support for Panti in RTE payout row , Irish Independent, February 4, 2014.
  26. Clare Cullen: 'Team Panti' tshirts sales raise € 10,000 for LGBT youth services , Irish Independent, February 17, 2014.
  27. ^ Brian O'Reilly, 'Team Panti' supporters infiltrate Prime Time audience , Irish Independent, February 11, 2014.
  28. Andy Towle: Pet Shop Boys Release 'Slow Mix' and Video of Panti Bliss Dance Track , Towleroad, March 14, 2014.
  29. International Dublin Gay Theater Festival: In These Shoes ( Memento of May 12, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  30. The GALAs
  31. Attitude Magazine Awards ( Memento of the original from February 26, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  32. Zara Zhuang: Panti Bliss, Garda whistleblowers named People of the Year - Ten outstanding citizens, groups honored for their contributions to Irish society , The Irish Times, December 7, 2014.
  33. ^ Eva Griffin: Rory O'Neill Receives James Joyce Award , University Observer, November 4, 2015.
  34. Peter Murtagh: TCD confers honors on McVerry, Norris and Panti Bliss , The Irish Times, November 27, 2015.