Tuesday 17 July 2018

Panti tops Trump, Putin and Messi on TIME influence list

Influential: Panti Bliss Photo: Iain White / Fennell Photography
Influential: Panti Bliss Photo: Iain White / Fennell Photography

Jane O'Faherty

Panti Bliss is the 29th most-influential person in the world, according to a TIME magazine poll.

The entertainer and activist came 29th in the list of 100 game-changers, as selected by the general public.

It places her ahead of Vladimir Putin, Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and musician Rihanna.

The TIME 100 most influential poll is composed of people deemed "world leaders, great minds in science and technology, outstanding figures in the arts and other icons of the moment."

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders topped the poll, followed by South Korean boyband Big Bang and Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Pakistani teenager Malala Youzafzai, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Pope Francis also make the top ten.

However, the official list won't be released until April 21, when TIME's editors make their choices.

Panti, also known as Rory O'Neill, was seven places ahead of Rihanna and 32 places ahead of Lionel Messi.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump were ranked 44th and 71st respectively.

She first opened Pantibar in 2007 but was jettisoned into the public eye following comments she made about homophobia in the Irish media in 2014.

Days later, she made an impassioned speech about the vulnerability of LGBT people in Ireland on the Abbey Theatre stage.

Kieran Rose, co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), said Panti's place on the list was "really wonderful".

"Panti played a really important role in Ireland becoming the first country in the world to vote for marriage equality," he said.

"She continues to be an important voice for LGBT people and a hugely influential figure in highlighting the much needed work that still needs to be done to ensure LGBT equality in Ireland and the world."

Irish Independent

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