By Joyce Rubotham @
Pictures by Olivia Lynott @thesmithsnerd
It was a week dominated by Brexit, new boundaries and border-controls. The theme of building walls and keeping people out dominated the news headlines.
Not in Dublin though. The atmosphere in the nation’s capital was one of jovial acceptance as the culmination of the Dublin Pride festival took place.
The Dubs showed their true colours as the rainbows of the Pride Parade pierced the dark clouds of segregation and prejudice on Saturday.
And the crowds paid special tribute to the victims of the Orlando massacre, signing heartfelt messages of love on a banner.
The boys in green have been a credit to their country while abroad. But the boys and girls at home did us more-than proud.
The organisers of the LGBTQ festival chose the appropriate theme of ‘Rebel, Rebel’. A tribute not just to David Bowie but also to Irish history and the 1916 centenary.
The message couldn’t be clearer; Irish history overlaps with that of the LGBTQ group. A movement that has fought for equality and acceptance in a country dominated by homophobic Religious doctrine.
Ireland’s first Pride Parade took place in June 1983.
The memory of that year will be bittersweet for many. Before the first Pride parade there was a protest march at the levels of violence against gay men and women.
The summer of 1982 saw a series of homophobic beatings in Dublin. The brutal murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park in September 1982 sparked the transition from gay survival to Gay Pride in Dublin.
How far the movement has come since then was evident on Saturday. The relaxed happy atmosphere of the day was a tribute to progress made.
The most striking feature of the day was the family-friendly feeling. Children and adults of all ages, genders and orientations were seen holding hands and waving rainbow flags.
It’s not so long ago that being gay was considered unsafe, unclean and even dangerous. Something to protect children from.
I felt quite delighted taking my children to the Pride parade on Saturday – as did many Irish families. It was inspiring to see so many young people there.
The only thing missing was the drunken revelry that puts me off taking my family into the city for the St Patrick’s day parade.
As an outsider looking in, it appeared as if the LGBTQ movement had been absorbed into the mainstream of Irish society. No longer an “alternative” lifestyle for those living outside of the classical family system.
Ireland might finally be coming to terms with the fact that family systems come in all shapes and sizes. The rainbow covers us all.
Last year Ireland became the first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. Over 60 percent voted in favour of marriage equality.
During the campaign leading up to the referendum we heard the stories of many gay bisexual and transgender people.
Men and women who suffered the isolation and loneliness brought about by bigotry and discrimination. A struggle that many people of all sexual orientations can identify with.
As an equality movement, the LGBTQ one has so much to be proud of and a lot to celebrate. They have brought their struggle to the forefront of the democratic process and won.
The Pride parade is not just about a particular sexuality or sexual orientation. It is a celebration of inclusion and acceptance. What a wonderful privilege it was to witness.