Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade
Saturday the 24th of June saw an explosion of colour as Dublin’s annual pride parade took place on a wonderfully sunny day. It was the culmination of a week of events. This year’s parade was a wonderful carnival of colour with people of all ages, races and genders came out to show their support, solidarity and celebrate. RippleZoo went out to support the LGBTQ Pride and had a lot of fun! It was a very family friendly event, it was nice to see so many kids enjoying the day.
Prior to the parade itself, a rally was held in St Stephen’s Green with many guest speakers. Speakers included Senator David Norris and the executive director of BelongTo, Moninne Griffith.
(Smithfield Square, Dublin)
The theme for this year’s festivities was ‘Find Your Inner Hero’ and many of Dublin’s big multinational companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft were all out to help champion the cause of LGBTQ rights. Other than large companies a vast range groups such as Humanists Association of Ireland, the Green Party, Amnesty, Nandos, Dublin Bus, The Red Cross and many many more took part.
The parade, which drew an estimated 30,000 people, finished up in the square in Smithfield. Ireland’s new and first openly gay Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made history by becoming Ireland’s first Taoiseach to actively take part in the parade itself, he took the opportunity to address the crowd in Smithfield saying;
“I pledge as Taoiseach to use my office, for as long as I hold it, to advance the cause of LGBT rights, to press for marriage equality across Ireland, to speak up for LGBT rights around the world where they are under attack, and to push for the implementation of the sexual health strategy here at home at a time when it is more important than ever.”
(RippleZoo supporting Dublin Pride)
Many speeches touched on the issues which still need work. Such as education in schools being primarily a heterosexual focused version of education and the discrimination still felt daily by many people in the LGBTQ community. This issue was highlighted by a recent survey from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs just before this year’s Pride parade, which found that a fifth of LGBTQ respondents often face bullying and harassment in public places. This issue was brought up by Siona Cahill, the representative for the Union of Students in Ireland,
“We still don’t have access to PrEP [HIV prevention], we are bullied in our schools, we’re called names on the street and at ATMs late at night. We’re conscious of holding hands and coming out to our GAA teams,” she said, while also highlighting the social isolation faced by LGBT+ individuals in rural Ireland.
Overall, however, the picture painted was a positive one. Ireland has come so far since 1993 and is a more inclusive and open society than it has ever been, the parade showcased this and the desire by most Irish people to be inclusive and open.