Irish News

Friday 1 August 2014

'It's definitely been stressful': Rory O'Neill speaks to Independent.ie about Pantigate

Jason Kennedy

Published 04/02/2014|16:44

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Entertainer and activist Rory O'Neill thought nothing of his appearance on the Saturday Night Show three weeks ago. In fact, he thought it went quite well. Little did he know, from sitting on that couch, Rory would begin a national debate on the definition of homophobia.

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RTE paid out €85,000 in damages over remarks made by Mr O'Neill, arguably better known as his drag queen alter ego Panti.

Since the incident took place, Mr O'Neill has received messages of support from the likes of television host Graham Norton and illusionist Derren Brown.

Last weekend, the Saturday Night show held a debate on the definition of homophobia and who gets to use it. Mr O'Neill was not in attendance.

Despite, the furore, a number of very positive things have come out of the situation for the Mayo native. People with gay children have approached Mr O'Neill's parents to say how much it meant to them.

"My parents don't usually get letters from people saying nice things about their drag queen son," Mr O'Neill said.

"I've got in these spats before, on occasion, but this one certainly has had maybe the most far-reaching consequences."

Here, Mr O'Neill speaks to Independent.ie from his home on how Pantigate, as it's been dubbed on Twitter, has had some positive outcomes.

Irish Independent

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