Ireland: Drag queen activist tipped to win ‘Person of the Year’ award

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An Irish drag queen who made a defiant speech about equality is tipped to pick up a ‘Person of the Year’ award.

Drag artist Panti Bliss, played by Rory O’Neill, caused controversy in January this year when she labelled Catholic lobbying group the Iona Institute ‘homophobes’ on an Irish talk show, over their position on same-sex marriage.

The move prompted Irish state broadcaster, RTE, to award a payout of over €85,000 (£70,000) to the group and its associated journalists.

After the controversy, a heartwarming speech that Panti gave about the oppression that gay people face went viral, and was even sampled as part of a Pet Shop Boys track.

Panti Bliss has since become a household name in Ireland, speaking out for gay rights and same-sex marriage, and releasing her own autobiography this month.

According to the Herald, she could be making a surprise return to RTE next week – to pick up a prestigious award.

The newspaper reports that Panti Bliss is in line to receive an award during the ‘People of the Year’ ceremony, which will air live on RTE on December 6.

Previous winners at the event include Sir Terry Wogan, Bob Geldof, Ian Paisley and Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll.

Watch her viral ‘Noble Call’ speech below: