10 Irish Queer Women to Celebrate This St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday that is celebrated annually on March 17th. Named for Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland (who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century). Today of course, the American version of the holiday is a far more secular celebration of all things Irish (as well as emerald clothing, fake leprechauns, and green beer). Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world with parades, festivals, and other events that showcase Irish culture and heritage.

For GO, what better day to celebrate than by honoring some Irish lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. We have put together a list of amazing Irish-American queer women who deserve all the gold at the end of the rainbow for their contributions to the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Rosie O’Donnell


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Rosie O’Donnell is an Irish-American actress and comedian, daytime talk show host, and overall LGBTQ+ icon. She has won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host not once, not twice, but six times. O’Donnell is a Broadway fanatic, and she’s even starred in a few shows herself. She is a proud lesbian and a fierce LGBTQ+ advocate who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro is a side-splitting Irish-American comedian with a desert-dry sense of humor. In 2012, she was diagnosed with both breast cancer and a potentially fatal intestinal disease called clostridium difficile colitis. She had a double mastectomy, and shortly after, she went through a massive breakup and her mom passed away. Notaro channeled all of that tragedy into a legendary stand-up set. She released her first stand-up special on HBO in August 2015, which she performed topless after getting her double mastectomy. In October 2015, she married her best friend Stephanie Allynne, who played Alice’s girlfriend Nat on The L Word: Generation Q. She has also become an advocate for cancer awareness and has used her platform to raise money for cancer research.

Fiona Shaw

You may know Irish-born actress Fiona Shaw from her Emmy-award-winning performance as Carolyn Martens in the lesbian fan favorite Killing Eve, but she’s also an accomplished writer and director. In addition to winning an Emmy, she also won a Tony for her performance in The Ferryman. Beyond her artistic talents, Fiona is also an advocate for social justice and human rights. She’s been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and other progressive causes. She came out as a lesbian after dating men for many years, stating, “It was a shock. I was full of self-hatred….” She is now married to Sri Lankan economist Sonali Deraniyagala and splits her time between London and New York.

Eileen Myles


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Eileen Myles is an Irish-American poet, novelist, and performer who has been an influential voice in the poetry world since the 1980s. Myles is known for their confessional and deeply personal poetry, which often explores themes of gender, sexuality, and class. Their work is marked by raw honesty and a willingness to confront difficult emotions and experiences. In addition to their poetry, Myles has also written several acclaimed novels, including Chelsea Girls and Cool for You. They have performed their work at venues around the world, and they have been a mentor and inspiration to many young writers and artists. Myles has been honored with numerous awards for their work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. They continue to write and perform, and their work remains a vital part of contemporary poetry and literature.

Sinead O’Connor


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Sinead O’Connor is an Irish-born singer who is no stranger to controversy. She came out as a lesbian in 2000, but backtracked in 2005 stating, “I’m three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay. I lean a bit more towards the hairy blokes.” One of the most well-known controversies involving O’Connor occurred in 1992 when she appeared on Saturday Night Live and ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while singing an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War.” The act was intended as a protest against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, but it was widely criticized by many, including the Vatican. Throughout her career, O’Connor has also been open about her struggles with mental illness and her experiences with abuse and trauma. She has spoken out about these issues in interviews and in her music, and she continues to be a powerful and influential voice in the music world.

Drew Barrymore

America’s sweetheart Drew Barrymore has been in the public eye since she was a child actress. Born into a family of actors with Irish heritage, Drew began her career at just seven years old and quickly rose to fame. Despite experiencing personal struggles, including addiction and a difficult childhood, Drew has become a successful actress, producer, and entrepreneur. She’s starred in iconic films like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Wedding Singer, and Charlie’s Angels, and has gained critical acclaim for her performances. In addition to her acting career, Drew has also become known for her philanthropy and advocacy work. She’s supported numerous charities and organizations, including the World Food Programme and the United Nations Foundation, and has been a vocal advocate for animal rights. More recently, Drew has expanded her career into producing and hosting, with her own daytime talk show The Drew Barrymore Show.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox is a Hollywood actress, model, and Irish-American bicon known for her stunning looks, talent, and fierce attitude. After making her acting debut in the early 2000s, Megan quickly rose to fame with breakout roles in films like Transformers and your lesbian sexual awakening and mine, Jennifer’s Body. Despite facing criticism and controversy throughout her career, Megan has never shied away from advocating for herself. She’s been open about her struggles with body image and sexism in the entertainment industry and has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement. Beyond her professional achievements, Megan is also a devoted mother to three children and a passionate animal rights activist. She’s spoken out against the exploitation of animals in entertainment and has supported charities like PETA and the Humane Society.

Maura Healey


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Maura Healey is an Irish-American trailblazing attorney and politician who made history as the first openly gay Attorney General of Massachusetts. As Attorney General, Healey has been a powerful voice for social justice, working to protect the rights of marginalized communities and combat discrimination and inequality. She’s been a leader in the fight against climate change and has taken on powerful corporations in the healthcare and tech industries. Healey’s work has earned her numerous accolades, including being named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018. She’s also been recognized for her advocacy work for LGBTQ+ rights and was a key player in the legal fight against the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. In addition to her legal career, Healey is also an accomplished athlete, having played professional basketball in Austria and Switzerland before attending law school.

Anne Maguire

Anne Maguire is a talented writer and activist who has made significant contributions to the world of literature and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Maguire has been a dedicated LGBTQ+ activist for many years. She was a founding member of the New York Lesbian Avengers, a grassroots organization that fought for LGBTQ+ rights and visibility in the 1990s, and a founding member of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization. She is the author of Rock the Sham!: The Irish Lesbian & Gay Organization’s Battle to March in New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is a personal recount of how the organization fought to be seen in the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Amybeth McNulty 


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Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty has likely captured your heart, whether it was by playing the loveable Anne Shirley in Anne With An E, her iconic role as Vickie from Stranger Things, or by accidentally coming out via Twitter. On June 17, 2020, she tweeted: “Well, I think I just accidentally came out hahaha happy pride month lovelies.” Initially, the internet was confused as to what she meant by “accidentally” coming out, but later realized that on the same day, she liked a tweet saying: “AMYBETH MCNULTY IS BI AS HELL.”

Gillian Anderson


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Gillian Anderson is an Irish-American actress who is most known for her role as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully in The X-Files. She also played Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, DSU Stella Gibson in The Fall, sex therapist Jean Milburn in Netflix’s Sex Education, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of The Crown. Her honors include two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.In 2012, Anderson came out as bisexual.

Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston

This entry is not a single person, but a very important Irish-American LGBTQ+ group. The Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston (IALGBB) was a grassroots organization that was formed in the 1990s to provide support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people in the Irish-American community. In 1992, the IALGBB applied to march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, but their application was denied by the parade’s organizers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council. The council cited the parade’s status as a private event and argued that they had the right to exclude any group they deemed unfit. The IALGBB and other LGBTQ+ activists fought back against this discrimination, staging protests and legal challenges to demand their right to march in the parade. The controversy received national attention and became a symbol of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. After years of legal battles and community organizing, the IALGBB was finally allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston in 2015, marking a historic victory for LGBTQ+ rights and equality.

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