“Last year, I hosted Cork Pride, it was a dream come true. I was going to these events for years and years and I’ve always been 13th or 14th on the performers list so I would be there, sitting around, admiring the top performers and dreaming about one day becoming one of them. Last year, that was me, I was the one holding the microphone. I felt like I was on the top of the world but what I didn’t expect was the indescribable feeling I received. Behind me, these kids were screaming and waving so I walked over and the two of them started bawling crying and telling me that they had seen me on Ireland’s Got Talent and that me being on stage, and being myself in front of the audience, inspired them so much and made them feel like that it’s okay to feel different. If there is something worth working hard for, it is a comment like that. These guys were the same age I was when I was going through one of the toughest times of my life. I remember feeling so lonely and lost, desperately looking for a role model or someone to look up to… I was driving home the next day thinking, you never realise when you work so hard for a dream and it eventually pays off, that it will not only have an impact on your life but it will inspire others around you as well. Those two guys were the proof I’ve made it.”
I don’t think I need to introduce Paul Ryder but, just in case, he is a dancer, a queen and a master of entertainment. Paul was nominated and shortlisted in the Dublin Hero category, one out of 16 categories for98FM‘s #BestOfDublin Awards. You can find out more and vote for your favourite Dubliner HERE!