Episode 11: Rory O’Neill

Helen Shaw’s guest is performer and accidental activist Rory O’Neill AKA the Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss.</p style>

Rory talks about his memoir ‘Woman in the Making’ (Hachette 2014) and his personal journey from growing up in rural Ireland to become a ‘national treasure’ as the drag queen Panti Bliss who he says has become a sort of ‘avatar for change’. Rory shares the highs heels and lows of the last few years since his landmark speech on the stage of the Abbey Theatre which mobilised support for the Marriage Equality Referendum that was later passed by the Irish public in May 2015.

He reads from his memoir and talks about the influences on his Panti persona including Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett with her frosted eyeshadow and blonde mane and his exotic Aunty Qy who visited from the US with gifts of ‘jumpers with hoods’ for him and his cousins. Highlights of this funny and insightful podcast include Rory’s description of sharing a stage with Bono in U2’s recent Dublin gig and the story behind the making of Conor Horgan’s documentary film ‘Queen of Ireland’ charting Rory’s involvement in the Marriage Referendum Yes campaign.