Ireland’s Panti Bliss is an LGBTQ icon you’ve probably never heard of – but it’s time to take notice. Panti has been instrumental in Ireland’s fight for marriage equality and is well known for hosting the Alternative Miss Ireland event. If that wasn’t enough, she also hosts the incredible Pantibar pride parties.
Although Panti is known in the LGBTQ circles, her alter ego Rory O’Neill made her a household name. As a pub owner and longtime fixture on the gay scene, Rory rose to mainstream fame when he was sued for criticizing a group of activists on TV for their views on homosexuality.
A year later, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2015, thanks in large part to Panti’s advocacy. Her example is causing others to take notice. In recent years, a host of prominent Irish personalities have come out. This includes Rose of Tralee winner Maria Walsh, former government minister Pat Carey, and the current Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar.
Panti Bliss instrumentally changed the way Ireland views LGBTQ rights.
All hail Queen Panti!