Just watch with attention the performance of Rory O’Neill’s ( also known as performer and gay activist Panti Bliss), on how it feels to be subject to prejudice because of one’s sexuality on a daily basis. This spech will really help you to understand what homophobia means. The speech came after a performance of James Plunkett’s 1913 Lockout drama “The Risen People” in the National Theatre Of Ireland, The Abbey. The video was made with the help of Conor Horgan, Caroline Campbell, Nicky Gogan and Ailish Bracken. With thanks to cast and crew at the Abbey Theater.
A 12-year-old girl was so moved by drag artist Panti Bliss’s impassioned speech against homophobia that she wrote to the performer and Irish broadcaster RTE expressing how she felt. Rory O’Neill, whose alter ego is Panti Bliss, delivered the ‘Noble Call’ at Ireland’s national theatre, The Abbey, earlier this month.
The speech, since viewed more than 484,000 times on YouTube, was prompted by RTE paying damages to journalists and members of a right-wing Catholic think-tank that is against equal marriage. O’Neill had called them “homophobes” on an RTE programme. RTE’s decision to settle with the Iona Institute generated widespread criticism from the LGBT community. Irish born London based TV presenter Graham Norton called the decision to pay damages “unbelievable”. But RTE claimed it had no choice. Glenn Killane, managing director of television at RTE, said it would have been “absolutely reckless” of RTE not to settle the case. In a letter to Rory O’Neill and RTE, published by The Out Most, Niamh Keega, aged 12, wrote:
“To Rory O Neill
My name is Niamh Keegan and I am 12 years of age. My Mum and I were watching the news last week and I heard homophobic coming up quite often. I didn’t know what it meant so I asked my mom to explain and she said it was people who are afraid of Gay people. I was horrified and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Later that afternoon my mom showed me your speech and I thought it was very inspiring. The next day I went into school and my teacher said has anybody seen Rory O’Neill’s speech? I was the only person who put up my hand and I had to explain to the rest of my class and half of the people didn’t know what I was saying. Somebody very close to me is gay and he has the cutest boxer dog I have ever seen his name is Sam, and this man is the nicest person I know. I see boys calling each other Gay and laughing. I don’t think people know how serious this is!!! My favourite song at the moment is Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis”.