June is Pride month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community across the globe. As the month comes to an end, it is time to celebrate LGBTQ Irish influencers.
Ireland is filled with gifted LGBTQ influencers who continue to inspire people across the country. As it’s Pride month, it is important that their work and advocacy continue to be represented for future generations.
1) Oscar Wilde
The famed author and artist is one of the first known LGBT influencers in Ireland. His work periodically covered homosexual references and his personal life indicates his attraction for men. While there is some hesitation and hearsay about his sexuality, Wilde’s dedication and work towards giving LGBTQ a voice surely deserves a mention.
2) Panti Bliss
Rory O’Neill is famously recognized as the drag queen Panti Bliss and is also a gay rights activist. “Queen of Ireland” O’Neill’s documentary film has been premiered across the globe. Originally from Ballinrobe, County Mayo, O’Neill grew up in a small town and came out as gay in his 20s. He has regularly hosted Dublin Pride in June.
3) Graham Norton
Graham Norton is widely known as the presenter for his show “The Graham Norton Show.” Norton is openly gay, working as a presenter for TV and radio. He is also well known as being an actor and comedian and now, a novelist.
4) Sinead O’Connor
Sinead O’Connor is famously known as singer-songwriter. While O’Connor has been married only with men, she has stated that even though her sexual relationships have also only been with men, she has been in three relationships with women. She is also known for being an huge advocate for women’s rights and discouraging organized religion.
5) Brian Kennedy
Originally from Belfast, Brian Kennedy is best known as singer-songwriter and author. He came out as gay to general public in 2009 but to his closest family and friends at the age of 16.
6) Leo Varadkar
Newly appointed Taoiseach (prime minister), Leo Varadkar publicly came out as gay in 2015. Varadkar was an avid advocate for the same-sex referendum and continues to inspire the Irish public.
7) Jonathan Rachel Clynch
Jonathan Rachel Clynch, a RTÉ radio presenter came out as gender fluid to the general public in 2015. Clynch is one of Ireland’s few known public figures identifying as gender fluid.
8) Ellen Murray
Ellen Murray is a Northern Irish transgender youthworker. Murray is the founder of Genderjam NI, a place for young transgender and nonbinary persons to seek support and community in the Belfast and Newry area.
9) Lydia Foy
Lydia Foy is well-known for leading and advocating for gender recognition in Ireland. Foy had sex reassignment surgery in 1992 and endured a 20-year battle to change her birth certificate to fit in line with her gender identity.
Who would you consider the biggest influencers in the Irish LGBTQ community? Let us know in the comments.