Irish radio host and drag queen Dame Stuffy targeted with homophobic abuse

The performer was targeted after an image of them and Leo Varadkar was shared on an Irish nationalist Instagram page.

An image of Dame Stuffy who was targeted with homophobic abuse. The drag queen wears a bright red wig, red and silver jewellery and a black sparkly dress.
Image: @DameStuffy via X

Karl Dawson, also known by their drag name Dame Stuffy, has opened up about being targeted with online abuse.

In a post on X, the 98fm radio host and GALAS 2023 nominee wrote, “I won’t lie and tell you today hasn’t been difficult. A photo of me from an interview I conducted 1 year ago has circulated in a far right group, the comments are disgusting and disturbing, with one chap even telling me to ‘kill myself’ – We have to do better.”

The photo in question features Dawson in drag, standing side by side with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. It was shared on Instagram by an account called offgridireland3, with the caption reading, “The Irish government is hoping that people Vote Yes on March 8th so that they can remove women and mothers from the constitution”.

Although the post refers to the upcoming referendum on care, the photo is from an interview the ‘Queen of Ballymun‘ did with Varadkar over a year ago about Pride. The two are totally unrelated, which the drag performer pointed out in the comments of the post.

“For context, the photo was taken over 1 year ago,” Stuffy explained. “I was there to do an entertainment piece for the week of pride. It has absolutely nothing to do with this referendum.”

Similarly, another user wrote that using the image was “just a excuse to throw homophobic comments” and that it was adding “more hate in the world for nothing”.

Even so, the post sparked abuse towards Dame Stuffy, which Dawson then shared on X. One person said, “This is what happens when ye put queers into government”, while a 25-year-old Belfast business owner told the performer to kill themself. 


Karl Dawson has previously opened up about feeling unsafe walking through the streets, whether in drag or not. 

“The hate seems to be a cancer growing in the heart of Dublin’s society. It needs to be stopped now before it gets worse,” he said.

“I wouldn’t feel safe walking in drag at night, but I wouldn’t feel safe walking in broad daylight out of drag. After Covid in particular, town has not been safe. I feel safer in other countries than I do here,” he added at the time.

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