Alternative Ireland: Gay Christmas takes its final bow


ST PATRICK’S Day may have united the country on Saturday, but last night there was only one show in town – the Alternative Miss Ireland , or “Gay Christmas” as it is affectionately known.

The Olympia Theatre in Dublin, which played host to the 18th and final pageant, was packed to capacity with a crowd adhering to the black and silver dress code.

Next year will see a retrospective of the competition, with production company Still Films (Pyjama Girls, Seaview) preparing a feature-length documentary on its history.

Before the show kicked off, the surrounding gay bars were abuzz with predictions on who was going to win. Would it be the glossy production of Miss Lughnasaigh, from the team that many felt were robbed of the crown with their previous Opus Gei entry in 2010? Would it come from left field, with the young performance artist Miss Xnthony? Would Miss Alexandra Burqua nick the title?

Either way, last year’s winner Miss Mangina Jones was ready to hand over the Medusa Crown of Shamrocks to the final AMI winner.

Speaking before the show, the ring mistress for the night, Panti, said of the competition: “After 25 years and 18 pageants it’s time to let her make her own way in the world. It’s been an amazing, inspiring, meaningful run, but now it’s time to start a ‘united future agenda’.”

As the curtain falls on the end of an era for Ireland’s LGBT community, one thing is for certain: the after-parties will do AMI’s exit more than justice.