First the backstory:
RTÉ [Raidió Teilifís Éireann] removed the Saturday Night Show from its online player yesterday over legal concerns regarding an interview with Rory O’Neill aka Panti. Speaking on Twitter yesterday, the drag performer revealed that his “appearance on the Sat Night Show has been taken off the RTÉ Player because someone I mentioned is upset…Legally upset.” During the interview, O’Neill spoke about homophobia in Ireland, naming a number of newspaper columnists during the discussion. “The only place that you see it’s OK to be really horrible and mean about gays is on the internet in the comments and people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers,” he said.
And then this happened.
Last night, the Brendan O’Connor-hosted Saturday Night Show held a debate on homophobia but that didn’t prevent today’s protest, organised by LGBT Noise and attended by other groups and individuals who support equal rights for gay people, from going ahead. It also didn’t prevent O’Neill – in full regalia as alter-ego Panti Bliss – from making an oration last night at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin on how it feels to be subject to prejudice because of one’s sexuality on a daily basis. The speech came after a performance of James Plunkett’s 1913 Lockout drama The Risen People in the national theatre.
Watch Panti’s speech. Watch the whole thing. Amazing.
(Tipped by JMG reader Brian)