The Little Museum of Dublin’s newest exhibition is an exciting tribute to one of Dublin’s best known street-artists, the Diceman. Born as Thom McGinty in Scotland in 1952, the Diceman moved from Glasgow to Dublin in 1976, earning his name from The Diceman games shop, one of the many businesses that hired him to promote their services. The model, actor and street-artist quickly became a much-loved fixture of the capital city for his head-turning costumes and his famous “Zen walk”.
Thom used his popularity to champion for causes he believed in, appearing on The Late Late Show twice, first in 1988 when street performers and buskers were forming a union and then again in 1994 when he discussed living with HIV, having been diagnosed as HIV positive in the early 1990s. Jay Fik, who painted The Diceman memorial, remarked on his activism saying; “He was a man ahead of his time both for AIDs awareness and gay rights and was fearless in campaigning for both.”
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27th August 2010: A plaque in memory of Thom McGinty was unveiled at the Baltinglass courthouse during the Baltinglass Street Festival. McGinty, better known as "The Diceman", was a Dublin fixture, becoming a landmark street performer. #OnThisDay #Queerstory . . . #lgbthistory #gcnmag #lgbt #lgbtq #lgbtireland #gaycommunitynews #gaynews #gaymagazine #gayireland #instagay #lesbian #gay #bisexual #transgender #queer #nonbinary #genderqueer
After a rapid decline in his health in March 1994, Thom was forced to stop performing and later died in 1995 at the age of 42. Thom was crowned ‘The High King of Ireland’ in the Olympia Theatre as part of a fundraising campaign for his medication and funeral in 1994. After his passing, the stallholders and various shops on Grafton Street also pitched in in order to help cover the cost of his funeral. His death affected the city immensely, with a funeral procession being held on Grafton Street for Thom before his burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
This new exhibition aims to keep the memory of the Diceman alive by celebrating the life and work of Thom McGinty 25 years after his passing. The exhibition itself was created with the help of some of Thom’s closest friends with access to the most intimate material and will be part biographical and part social history.
“He was a man ahead of his time, both for AIDs awareness and gay rights” – The life and legacy of The Diceman. Illustration by Neave Alouf. Read more in our August issue, out now: https://t.co/yYK0Katyuj pic.twitter.com/C7d985xueu
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) August 17, 2019
The exhibition curated by Robert O’Byrne, will run from tomorrow Friday, February 21, until May 24 and tickets can be bought online or in the museum itself.
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