John M. Becker

Irish Drag Queen Delivers Powerful Anti-Homophobia Speech

Filed By John M. Becker | February 03, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: drag queens, heterosexual privilege, homophobia, Ireland, Panti Bliss, straight-splaining

panti-oneill-ireland.jpgAt a performance on Saturday in Ireland's national theatre, the Abbey, drag queen Panti Bliss delivered an impassioned speech about the pain of homophobia, the endless microaggressions that sexual and gender minorities have to deal with every day, and about how twisted it is that in so many cases, homophobes bully our community, then pretend they're the ones being victimized.

"Have any of you ever come home in the evening and turned on the television, and there is a panel of people -- nice people, respectable people, smart people... and they're all sitting around, and they are having a 'reasoned' debate on the television: a reasoned debate about you?", Bliss asked. She continued:

"About what kind of person you are, about whether or not you're capable of being a good parent, about whether you want to destroy marriage, about whether or not you're safe around children, about whether or not God herself thinks you're an abomination, about whether in fact maybe you are intrinsically disordered. And even the nice TV presenter lady... even she thinks it's perfectly okay that they're all having this 'reasoned' debate about you and about who you are and about what rights you deserve or don't deserve."

Rory O'Neill, who performs as Bliss, caused a controversy last month when he name-checked prominent Irish homophobes in an interview with RTÉ. O'Neill took to the stage as Bliss to respond to the controversy and rightfully call out heterosexual privilege:

"For the last three weeks, I have been lectured to by heterosexual people about what homophobia is and about who is allowed to identify it. Straight people have lined up... to tell me what homophobia is and to tell me what I am allowed to be oppressed by.

"People who have never experienced homophobia in their lives... have told me that unless I am being thrown into prison or herded onto a cattle truck then it is not homophobia. And that feels oppressive."

Bliss's nearly 11-minute speech is brilliant and worth watching in full. Check it out, after the jump.


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