Monday 22 January 2018

Hate mail slamming gay celebs 'water off a duck's back' for Panti

Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss, received the nasty mail from an anonymous source Photo: Michael Chester
Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss, received the nasty mail from an anonymous source Photo: Michael Chester

Several gay celebrities have been named in a vile piece of hate mail that was sent to drag queen Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss.

The Mayo native (47), who runs popular Dublin venue Panti Bar, was sent a hateful postcard from an anonymous member of the public, lambasting him and several others for their sexuality.

The writer named fashion designer Brendan Courtney, stylist Darren Kennedy, TV3 presenters Cassie Stokes and Alan Hughes, and RTE newsreader Aengus MacGrianna in the nasty note.

The writer went on to say TV was full of "your types" before hurling several anti-gay slurs at the popular drag performer.

The postcard is not the first time O'Neill has found himself on the receiving end of hate mail.


"I get this kind of stuff all the time -water off a duck's back," he told the Herald.

"Clearly the writer has his own problems. The only ones that actually annoy me are the ones that are written with a tone - as if they're doing me a favour.

"They tell me I need to change my life, it's not too late to repent - Jesus loves me."

TV presenter Kennedy said the postcard does not affect him personally, but he does worry about the impact it could have on a young person struggling to understand their sexual orientation.

"As far as I am concerned personally, they are just words and they have no meaning to me - but my concern would be for anyone who is at a place in their life where they don't feel ready to stand on their own," he said.

The TV host pointed out that discrimination will always exist in some form but the people who spout it should be ignored.

"There will always be discrimination. What that person wrote is vile. The world is in a state of turmoil at the moment," he said.

"While we are advancing human rights and civil rights, there are other people who are having a really tough time. It's about not giving people like this time.

"It's ok to be gay. Don't worry about this and just be who you are."

Former Off The Rails presenter Courtney (43) said the postcard and the person who wrote it were "ridiculous".

"This person is clearly deranged, so I would not even give it a second thought. It is kind of funny," he said.

"We have equal marriage and the law is on our side so I do not care. It's obviously ridiculous."

Xpose presenter Stokes (28) was the victim of her own homophobic hate mail, in the form of a postcard sent to the TV3 offices last June, shortly after she joined the programme.

The viewer told her she would have to wear the label of being gay on her back forever.

However, Stokes brushed off the comments and has since gone on to be named as one of the new full-time hosts of Xpose.

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