A drag queen’s monologue expresses everything you feel about Orlando
Irish activist Panti Bliss headlined ILGA-Europe’s Equality Gala in Brussels where she delivered a speech full of humor, heart, and sobering truths about homophobia and Orlando.

Introduced as “the Queen of Ireland,” Bliss discusses the amount of work that still needs to be done around the world. “Marriage equality didn’t protect 49 members of our community in Orlando,” she says.

Bliss points out this work becomes especially obvious when leaving one’s “protected bubble.”

“I think often for many of us, especially standing here in the heart of socially liberal Europe and especially of us that come from socially liberal cities, it can be really easy for us to forget that we actually live in a very privileged bubble–and sometimes that bubble can be so clear that we don’t even remember it’s there until we walk into its edges and we realize actually how small it is…

Orlando, Florida is firmly inside our bubble.”

Bliss, who’s been vocal about calling out homophobia and proudly proclaims that she’s faced legal action in the past for doing so, emphasizes the importance of the term as a means of placing responsibility.

“Until [George Weinberg] coined the word homophobia, we only had language that put the blame on LGBTI people for their own oppression and not on their oppressors. And it was a very controversial word then, and it remains a very controversial word today.

And we saw that in the days and weeks after Orlando when news outlets and politicians and others shied away from using the word homophobia to describe that attack…’We’ are not all Orlando, but we are.”

The activist also discussed how the attack on Orlando felt very personal to the LGBTQ community despite being in different parts of the world because of the shared experience of “being outside the protective bubble” and “awkwardly, and sometimes frighteningly different.”

“Bars are more than just bars,” says Bliss, “they are our community centers and sanctuaries.”

“I’ve never been to Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, but that doesn’t matter because I know it like the back of my hand. I know the kind of people that were there. I know the fun that they were having. I know the freedom that they felt to be able to be themselves, totally. I know the boys that they were kissing and I know the music they were dancing to.

Because I have kissed those very same boys and I have danced to that very same music. I have never been to Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and yet I’ve spent some of the best times of my life there.”

Watch the full speech here:


Fox News hosts debate whether the Statue of Liberty is transgender

Previous article

Gays Against Guns vs Pink Pistols: Two views on gun control debate

Next article