Today we’re launching GCN Presents Q+A: The Queer and Alternative Podcast with some extra special guests, Rory O’Neill (Miss Panti Bliss) and her long-time collaborator Niall Sweeney, the man behind Pantibar’s design, the striking new cover of GCN, and even Panti’s aesthetic.
In the first episode Q+A, Niall and Rory discuss the origins of the polished Panti we know so well today, how their professional association helped to establish Panti in Ireland after her return from Japan.
An edited and abridged version of this Q+A episode appears in the Workplace Diversity issue of GCN, Issue 334, (which is available to read here) along with some fascinating photos and imagery that help with visualising some of the areas that are being discussed.
“Hello and welcome to the very first GCN Q+A podcast, which takes its name from the popular Dublin club of the noughties, Queer and Alternative,” GCN Editor Brian Finnegan announces at the beginning of the episode.
“Quite fittingly, sitting at the microphone with me today are two titans of Dublin’s queer social scene, who shaped the way we partied from the nineties on.”
The podcast host goes on to introduce O’Neill and Sweeney as contemporaries, framing their respective careers as drag queen and graphic designer as integral to the LGBT+ community in Dublin and Ireland.
I always say that Niall’s image of Panti became the image of Panti, even before Panti looked like that
Sweeney, who designed the very first issue of GCN, revealed that the first incarnation of Panti which he now calls “proto-Panti” was conceived in the mid-nineties in the years after the pair had studied in art college.
At this time, O’Neill was doing drag in Japan, but under a different persona, and it wasn’t until he came back from Tokyo that he became Panti.
“I always say that Niall’s image of Panti became the image of Panti, even before Panti looked like that,” O’Neill explains.
The full interview dives into the adventures of Panti and Sweeney’s alter ego, Mr Sphincter, and how their work together has altered the fabric of queer Ireland.
GCN Presents Q+A: The Queer and Alternative Podcast is now available on iTunes where you can subscribe to hear our podcast every month. Or you can check our first episode below:
You can also watch a short clip of the interview where Rory O’Neill reveals details about Panti upcoming Sky Altantic TV show:
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