Rory O’Neill visits Bonn for UN Cinema screening of “The Queen of Ireland”

Rory O’Neill, also known as Panti Bliss, attended the UN Cinema screening of “The Queen of Ireland” in Bonn on 30 September. It was organized by the Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland to Germany, Volkshochschule Bonn, the German UN Association and the UN Globe staff group at the UN Bonn campus.

The event aimed at promoting human rights and gender equality for all, with a focus on highlighting the fight for equality and non-discrimination by the LGBTI+ community worldwide. It provided the opportunity to present the work of UN Globe, the UN staff group that advocates for the equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI+ staff in the UN system.

Dr. Ingrid Schöll, Director of Volkshochschule Bonn, welcomed visitors and introduced the Adult Learning Centre’s lecture series around SDG 5 – gender equality, in the frame of which this UN Cinema event was presented. “UN Cinema is one of UNRIC’s most successful initiatives to engage a wide audience across Europe on global issues that are related to the work of the United Nations”, said Arne Molfenter of the UN Regional Information Centre. He was delighted to highlight that “The Queen of Ireland” has already been screened in Brussels, London, Stockholm, Vienna and Geneva, always in partnership with the Irish Embassies. Ambassador Dr. Nicholas O’Brien addressed the audience prior to the screening to emphasize Ireland’s foreign policy focus on ensuring individuals’ human rights and non-discrimination.

The film is a documentation of Rory O’Neill’s life and portrays his journey to becoming Ireland’s most famous drag queen and an icon for the rights of the LGBT+ community worldwide. In an interview with James Creswick of the UN Globe Bonn staff group, he explained that his activism for the rights of LGBTI+ started out of pure self-interest, “to stand up for my rights and make my own life easier”. He never thought his path would turn him into the internationally known activist that he is today.

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