The Irish Times: The magic and loss of coming out in rural Ireland
It was a huge privilege to interview writer and performer Xnthony for a feature in today’s Irish Times. Xnthony is hugely talented and speaks so eloquently on the experience of growing up gay in rural Ireland. He’s bringing his new show, Confirmation, to this year’s Fringe Festival and tickets are on sale now.
While Ireland’s marriage equality referendum in 2015 was a seminal moment for the country, it was also a seminal moment for Co Roscommon – but perhaps not in a very happy way.
Roscommon-South Leitrim was the only constituency in the country to vote against same-sex marriage. Roscommon was quickly dubbed Ireland’s conservative backwater, and it became the subject of jokes and ridicule across the country.
That is something that Anthony Keigher, who goes by his stage name Xnthony, wants to change. He was born and raised in Roscommon, and continues to be fiercely protective of his home county, even though he has now lived in London for a number of years. Despite this pride, he also readily admits that his experience growing up gay in Roscommon was not always easy, and was often “complex”.