Panti Bliss is Ireland’s most famous drag queen—and arguably one of the world’s greatest. Growing up in the small town of Ballinrobe as Rory O’Neill, Bliss struggled to find his way in the world. It wasn’t until he traveled to Japan and created his drag persona that he found his calling: upon returning to Ireland, he emerged as an “accidental activist.”
Bliss is the author of the blog “No More Mr. Nice Gay” and the founder of several notorious fetish clubs as well as a (now-defunct) pageant, Alternative Miss Ireland. But he really shook things up when he accused Irish journalists of homophobia on national television. Thus “Pantigate” began, setting the tone of the campaign for Ireland’s history-making referendum on gay marriage.
Panti makes for a fabulously entertaining subject in Conor Horgan’s feature documentary debut: one part primer on LGBTQ rights, one part personal portrait, it’s outrageous, delightful and heartbreaking by turns.
Producer: Ailish Bracken, Katie Holly | Editor: Mick Mahon | Cinematographer: Kate McCullough | Screenwriter: Conor Horgan, Phillip McMahon
Cast: Rory O'Neill