WATCH: Panti’s Queen of Ireland Christmas Day message touches hearts across the nation

The gay rights activist, author and performer reflects on a year of unparalleled change for the country

Panti’s Queen of Ireland Christmas Day message reflects on a year of monumental change in the country – urging people to continue to “cherish all the children of our nation equally”.

In the speech, which aired on TV3 this afternoon, the gay rights activist acknowledged Ireland’s Marriage Referendum on May 22nd - describing it as “the closest thing to an apology” for the treatment of Irish LGBT people throughout our nation’s history.

However, Panti also highlighted the fact that “LGBT people are not the only people who we’ve failed”, pointing out that Travellers, the homeless, even Irish women are among those still not cherished equally.

Panti went on to say: “I don’t live in Ireland because I have to. I live in Ireland because I love it,” adding that, “I’m as Irish as a spice burger … but I wasn’t always sure that Irishness was elastic enough to include someone like me.”

Watch the 8-minute speech in full below: