From civil war to civil partnership Whatever else changes, weâ€™re always here.
Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival Chairperson’s Welcome Clive Davis
A Letter From the Lord Mayor Dr. John Sheehan
Meet The Commitee
Grand Marshall’s Address Noah Halpin and Sara Phillips
Cork LGBT Community; 50 and Proud Orla Egan
Un-sung; The Bi-racial Butch Lesbian of Stonewall Deidre Swain
Head to Head Opinion Piece: Uniformed Gardai at Pride Bella FitzPatrick and Tonie Walsh
A Year of Transformation at The Gay Project Padraig Rice and Michael O’Donnell
Support from Cork City FC
The LINC Legacy: 20 and Coaunting Ciara Mulcahy
Voxpro - What Pride Means To Us Dan and Linda Kiely, Kevin O’Sullivan, Kayleigh Cronin, Marta Carboni, Saoirse Mackin
VMware Inclusion Charley Woodward, Maitri Kothari, Swetha Rajmohan, Ciara McAdam O’Connell, Tasha Easton
No Longer Invisible: Intersex Ireland Timara, Jessica, Olive, and Sara
National Pride Festival Guide JP McCarthy
Not for Everyone ; The Legal Status of Same Sex Parents in Ireland Today Paula Fagan
U=U ActUp Cork
Queer Narratives Within the Visual Arts Stephen Doyle
Decks in the City Jules Walsh
Marginalisation and Exclusion from the Church - Looking for a Christlike Response Sarah-Jane Cromwell
Remembering Ted O’ Connell Joe Mulrennan, Robin O Connell Falvey, Megan Deeney O Connell, Marcus McCann, Davey Walsh, Dan Ryan, Daniel O Sullivan, Neil Carter, Jerry Buttimer, John Lombardi, JP McCarthy, John Buttimer
Active Out: A spotlight on Sport in Cork Michael O’Donnell, John Buttimer and Don Crowley, Ciara Mulcahy
CIT LGBT* Society Konrad Im
UCC LGBT+ Society Max Shanahan
The Lure, the Lust, the Love, the Loss Alana Daly Mulligan and Jim Crickard
The Importance of LGBTQI+ Community Spaces Padraig Rice, Michael O’Donnell, Sarah O’Herlihy with contributions from Jacqueline, Jack Thomas, John and Bruce
UP Cork LGBTI+ and Allies Youth Group Ben, Jaye, Rosie, Claire, and Jacqueline
Gay Paris! - The Irish Bring It Home Nicky Green
We are Abtran, We are Proud Tara Cregan
Big Thank You To Lord Mayor Cllr. John Sheehan Sara Phillips and Noah Halpin An Garda Siochana Anglesea Street Tony Power and the team at Cork City Council Claire Looney O Sullivan and the team at Cork County Council Allan Prosser, Karen O Donoghue, and at the team at the Irish Examiner Helena Day, Colm O Sullivan, and the team at Red FM Justin Cronin, Zoe Fleury, and the team at Coolgrey David Quirke at Red Penguin David and the team at Balloon Surprise Rose-Anne Kidney at Goldiefish Events Joe Stockdale at Triangle Productions Killian Quilter at KC Castles Ruairi Twomey and the team at Tesco Evan Murphy Keogh, Will Organ and the team at PepsiCo Susan Roche and Jules Walsh at Chambers Dan and Linda Kiely, Tricia Cruz and the team at Voxpro Sarah Shimmons at Smirnoff Audrey Walsh and the team at Johnson Controls Jim Deeney and the team at First South Credit Union Micheal Barry and the team at Apple Aoife O Neill and the team at Abtran Colin Kenneally and the team at Boston Scientific Sarah O Donnell and the team at VMware Tracey Cooney and the team at AIB Paula Fagan at LGBT Ireland Eleanor Moore at the HSE Adam Lacey, Liam McLeod, and the team at Cork Volunteer Centre Kenny Property Group and the team at CitiPark Hayley Fox-Roberts and the Youghal Pride by the Sea team Mark Holland and the Clonakilty Pride by the Sea team Rev. Sarah Marry and the congregation of St. Anne’s, Shandon Steve Taylor and the team at EPOA Jed Dowling and Eddie McGuinness Carmel Kennedy-Im Mary Flanagan Matt Higgs Mark Kenny Giles Reid, Maria Walsh Micheal Waldron at the Crawford Gallery Orla Lannin Kieran O Connell Denis Hickey Peter O Toole Joe Mulrennan Paul Casey at Ó Bhéal Thank you to all of our sponsors, advertisers, partners, and supporters who have helped Cork Pride become what it is today! A huge thanks also to our volunteers who give selflessly of their time to make the Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival bigger and better each year!
Cork Pride Magazine Cover image and 50@50 branding by Matt Higgs (@MattHiggsArtist)
Proud to sponsor Cork Pride. Happy Pride from Tesco.
result; these events have changed our lives, our laws, and ourselves. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those foresighted and determined activists who have paved the way for us; we are where we are as both individuals and as a community because of them, we are truly standing on the shoulders of giants. In recognition of this, our branding and magazine cover this year features the images of fifty individuals that the Cork LGBT+ community decided were figures that have made a significant contribution to the LGBT+ community; these images are overlaid with Marsha P. Johnson, the undisputed Queen of Stonewall.
Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival Chairperson’s Welcome It’s that time of year again, and the Cork Pride team are making the final preparations for another fabulous Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival! Our theme this year is Stonewall: 50 Years Proud, celebrating the birth of Pride at the Stonewall Riots, 50 years ago. Cork Pride has always had its roots in activism and the community, but in recent years, Pride festivals worldwide have developed from riots and protests into carnivals and celebrations of our LGBT+ lives. Some see this as progress, others don’t - Pride will always be many different things to many different people, but we really need to cohesively unite as a community once a year, as greater things will always be achieved together, as was so effectively demonstrated with the Marriage Equality Referendum. This year we once again have something truly momentous to celebrate; 50 years of Pride. Stonewall could have been just another minor skirmish between the LGBT community and the police in 1969, but this time it wasn’t; this time, the community fought back, and finally said, enough is enough! This single event changed the world for LGBT+ people, and sent out a clear message - we will not go quietly, we deserve respect, we demand equality, we are now visible, and we’re here to stay. Things could have been very different for us all if Stonewall hadn’t happened, indeed many of our community that went before us, would perhaps scarcely believe the progress we have made in the relatively short intervening years.
The Cork Pride story began many years ago, with a few brave individuals marching down Patrick Street; today, Cork Pride is an 8 day national festival with over thirty events held across the city and county, culminating in the main event, the Cork Pride Parade and Afterparty, which brings thousands of people onto the streets of Cork to celebrate with us. This year, we will also expand our Cork Pride outreach event, Pride by the Sea, which we began in 2017 in Kinsale, moving to Youghal in 2018, and which will take place in both Youghal and Clonakilty on the 27th July this year – this initiative hopes to encourage and establish more visible LGBT+ communities in rural parts of the county, highlighting the need for additional community supports in these areas, especially as rural isolation is such a problem within our LGBT+ community. It takes an army of over 100 people to deliver Cork Pride annually, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to everyone here, especially to the Cork Pride Production Committee who work tirelessly on Cork Pride all year: John Paul McCarthy, Denise Boyle, Konrad Im, Kery Mullaly, Ciara Mulcahy, Sinéad Dunphy and Padraig Rice, it’s their dedication to Cork Pride that makes the Festival bigger and better every year. I’d also like to thank and pay tribute to our partners, supporters, and sponsors – Cork Pride costs a huge amount to produce annually, and our sponsors ensure that all Cork Pride events always remain free of charge. Our history has shown us that it takes individuals to start change – but a community to activate it. Change activators are all around us; they are in our LGBT+ community centres waiting on your support and engagement, they are at LGBT+ social groups, they are at Pride meetings - change doesn’t simply happen, it needs to be driven. Getting involved helps, don’t leave it for others to do - we all need to play our part. Wishing everybody a safe and happy Cork Pride!
_________________ Clive Davis Chairperson Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival 2019
Whilst Stonewall was the catalyst that explosively began the progressive changing of hearts and minds 50 years ago, there were many other events in Europe, and the rest of the world that also ignited as a direct
PROUD MEDIA PARTNERS to cork pride 2019 6
A Letter From The Lord Mayor To the Participants of Cork Pride, FĂĄilte go Corcaigh and I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all to the week-long Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival. Cork Pride has an important public relations role in promoting positive images of the LGBT+ community which encourages integration, inclusion and acceptance. Cork City Council and the Social Inclusion Unit will continue their commitment to the LGBT+ community. It is especially important that our LGBT+ young people know that they are loved and respected. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which served to be the turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement, the significance of the brave people involved in these riots shaped a new cultural awareness of the need for the need for inclusivity regardless of gender, sexual orientation or otherwise. We, in Cork are proud to continue our work through Cork Pride Festival in extending this message of inclusivity. It takes a magnitude of work for a Festival of this size to succeed and the work of the organising committee is clear from the extensive programme available for this yearâ€™s Festival. I give my highest respect to the voluntary committee, countless volunteers, supporters, partners and sponsors without whom, this Festival would not survive. I look forward to attending many of the events as part of Cork Pride Festival which runs from 27th July to 4th August. Wishing you a wonderful Pride. Mise le Meas, Lord Mayor Cllr. John Sheehan
Meet the committee Clive Davis Chairperson
Clive has been Chairperson of the Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival for the past 10 years. He is a Regional Director of Youth Work Ireland, a Director of LGBT Ireland, and a Director of the Irish League of Credit Unions. He enjoys cooking and travel and lives in Thomastown with his partner Kery.
Konrad Im Vice-Chair & Events Co-ordinator
Konrad is currently studying Community Development in CIT and is heavily involved in community work as the Chairperson of CIT LGBT Society and as a volunteer with UP Cork LGBTI+ Youth Project and the Gay Project.
Denise Boyle Parade and Afterparty Manager
JP McCarthy Treasurer
Denise runs EBO Home Rescue and plays rugby with Ballincollig Women’s Rugby team. Denise also coaches Mallow Women’s Rugby team, is studying Project Management at UCC, and lives in Cork with her partner Lauren.
JP is Cork Pride’s longest serving committee member and has been involved for the past 14 years. He is group manager for Amazon UK Customer Services in Cork, is a closet sports fan and Eurovision fanatic. JP is currently auditioning potential husbands.
Kery Mullaly Business Development Manager
Ciara Mulcahy Cork Pride Magazine Features Editor
Kery handles the Business Development and Corporate Sponsorship remit for a wide range of festivals, charitable organisations and events through his company FundFest. Kery was previously an antiques and fine art dealer for over twenty years, and lives in Thomastown with his partner Clive.
Pádraig Rice Community Events Coordinator
Pádraig is the Coordinator of the Gay Project and part- time postgrad Law student in UCC. He previously worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for Independent Senator Colette Kelleher, with Trócaire in Uganda and for Carr Communications in Dublin. Pádraig loves to run and eat out with his boyfriend Aaron.
Ciara is the community health work in LINC, she coaches the women’s boxing team and is an avid contributor to LINC drama productions both as a writer and on stage. She lives in Cork with her partner Danielle.
Sinead Dunphy Festival Co-Ordinator
Sinead is this year’s Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival Co-ordinator, and has a wealth of experience in event production, arts management and PR. She has managed some of Corks largest cultural events, such as the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival and the Cork International Choral Festival, and has recently launched her events management and PR company Eventi.
Evan Murphy Keogh Michael Murphy Keogh Ciara O’Mahony Michael O’Donnell Ken O’Mahony Davina Staunton Jennifer Kubik
Adam Lacey Liam McLeod
Events Health and Safety Consultant
CONNECTING WITH FRIENDS HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Celebrating Pride 2019
8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THIS SUMMER Talk about it
Problems feel smaller when they are shared with others. Talking about feelings is a good way to deal with a problem.
Regular exercise can really give your mental health a boost.
Drink less alcohol
Stay in touch
Avoiding too much alcohol is important, especially if you’re feeling down or worried.
Trusted friends and family are important, especially at diﬃcult times. You do not have to face things on your own.
Eat and sleep well
Having a balanced diet and a good sleep pattern will not only help the way you feel, but it will also help the way you think.
Everyone is diﬀerent and is entitled to respect. Many diﬀerent things, including your background, race, religion and sexual identity, make you who you are.
Ask for help
Do something you enjoy
Asking for help is not a weakness but a sign of personal strength. Everyone needs help from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it.
Setting aside some time to do something you enjoy, especially if you are not feeling great, will help you feel better.
For more information on ways you can protect your own mental health, and support those you care about, visit yourmentalhealth.ie. If you’re feeling down call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email email@example.com (available 24/7).
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Grand Marshal’s Address I am very honoured to have been invited to join the rest of my trans siblings as the transgender community takes up the role of Grand Marshall of Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival 2019. The first ever group appointment, this is a very fitting acknowledgment to the numerous transgender people who were pivotal in the Stonewall Riots and throughout the civil rights/gay liberation movements. It has been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots. 50 years since a group of people in New York stood up and said “enough is enough”. It has been 26 years since homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland. All because a small group of people in Ireland stood up and said “enough is enough”. It has been 4 years since the Dail passed the gender recognition act, allowing transgender people to legally change their gender marker, all because of a group of people who said “enough is enough”. It has also been 4 years since we in Ireland, achieved the legal right to same sex marriage. All because a huge group of people marched forward and said “enough is enough”! We have come a long way since the Stonewall riots. However, we mustn’t forget how far we have left to go. Liberation for our community began with activism and defiance, and a willingness to challenge authority. We mustn’t let that end until all are truly equal. Let’s not forget, access to healthcare for transgender people is at crisis point. Same sex parents still do not have equal parenting rights. HIV diagnoses are consistently rising in Ireland so the need for equitable access to PrEP and PEP is essential. Our children are not getting the sex education they require in school. Non-binary people and young trans people still do not have access to gender recognition. And hate crime legislation is sorely needed. This Pride, let’s celebrate the achievements that our community has won, but let’s also be mindful about what is left to do. Incredible things can happen when people stand together and say, “enough is enough”. Lastly; I wish you all a wonderful, safe and enjoyable Pride Festival, surrounded by a community filled with pride, resilience and love.
This year’s pride sees the esteemed Grand Marshall position taken up by our trans siblings; not only to commemorate the activists who paved the way at and in the aftermath of Stonewall, but also to remind us all of the work that is yet, unfinished. No Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us! - Marsha P. Johnson As we remember and celebrate Stonewalls 50th anniversary, it is appropriate that we reflect on those brave individuals that stood up to oppression in 1969. We must remember that the names we now give due respect to, such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, both trans women of colour were at the vanguard of the uprising. Johnson and Rivera were not only trans activists but central to the queer movement of the time. They would go on to set up (STAR) Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. STAR was a gay, gender non-conforming and transgender street activist organization. STAR was both a political organization with radical ideology and provided housing and other social services to homeless queer youth and sex workers in Lower Manhattan. STAR focused on the most vulnerable members of society. In two wild nights, and in the subsequent years these 2 inspiring activists, inadvertently, started a family. As Cork Pride recognise in 2019, the trans community as a collective Grand Marshall, it speaks to our history and recognition for all those trans activists fighting for LGBTQI rights over the past 50 years. I am very honoured to be invited, along with Noah, to represent our trans family in Ireland for Cork Pride. As a family we must continue to support each other and fight for the many outstanding issues. There is still so much more to do. Despite Marriage Equality, Gender Recognition and Repeal the 8Th, the LGBTQI+ community is still not fully recognised as full and equal members of Irish society. We cannot continue to be marginalised. For the trans community, we still have to achieve full and equal recognition for all our under 18’s and non-binary siblings, We need appropriate, respectful, and informed medical care. With continued attacks on our identity, Ireland needs to continue to send a message of hope, inclusion and respect. Now more than ever, we need to be strong, we need to be determined, we need to be together, we need to be family. Let us live up to Marsha and Sylvia’s vison! Wishing you all a happy and safe pride.
Sara Phillips 13
EVENTS Saturday 27th July RAINBOW RUN 2019 Ballincollig Regional Park, 9:30am - 11pm Join Frontrunners Cork with Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival & Ballincollig parkrun for what will be the most colourful parkrun yet! One rule: you MUST don your most colourful outfits! Meeting at Ballincollig Regional parkrun before the 9.30am start time! Whether you run, jog or walk all are welcome to join. Don’t forget to register with Ballincollig parkrun before July 27th, www.parkrun.ie/register and bring a printed copy of your barcode if you want to time yourself for the event.
CORK PRIDE: PRIDE BY THE SEA Youghal, Claycastle Beach, 3pm - 6pm & Clonakilty, Emmet Square, 1pm - 5pm This year we’re very excited to be spreading Cork Pride By The Sea to two county communities. Cumann Na Daoine in Youghal will be host a family friendly BBQ with live music from LINC Drumming Group & Sparkle on Claycastle Beach. There will be a DJ, beach games, food stalls and info stands. And don’t forget to bring your buckets and spades and join the sandcastle competition. RedFm will be joining us in Clonakilty with DJs, games & giveaways for a fun family friendly picnic. Pack your picnic basket and head on down to support your local LGBT+ community for this free fun event. Let’s spread Pride, county-wide!
CHAMBERS: SERVE IT SATURDAY Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE Kick off Pride Week with our resident Queens Mia Gold, Letycha Le’Synn & Nettles for our weekly Serve It Saturday show. Live Band 9pm – 11pm. Drag Show 11:30pm -Midnight. Followed by DJ until Late.
SUNDAY 28th July CORK PRIDE FAMILY FUN DAY 2019 Fitzgerald Park, 12pm - 6pm Join us for our annual Family Fun Day sponsored by Pepsi Co, full of rainbow festivities, doggy devilry and activities to delight the young, the old, the tame and the bold! With sensational live music from Sparkle & Witless and a kiddie’s disco courtesy of the Red FM DJs. Enjoy a plethora of kiddie’s entertainment bouncy castles, giant board games from Cork City Sports Partnership, colourful face painting and a Pride Market serving only the best of carnival food. Our annual “Scruffy Doo” fun dog show will take place again this year with prizes to be won and proceeds going to Irish Guide Dogs followed by our fun Gay Olympics. This year we’re also proud to announce our Cork Pride: Wellness Tent offering fun and calming activities to help you relax and prepare for the crazy week ahead. Try Zumba, Yoga for Kids, mindful colouring and other fun activities to help you shake that stress away. So why not join us and soak up that summer sun as we celebrate all things PRIDE!
CHAMBERS: ENTIRELY KYLIE TRIBUTE NIGHT Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE Colette Ford is one of Europe’s finest Kylie tributes and we can’t think of a gayer way to launch Pride than with a big Kylie show! A fantastic night’s entertainment, this breath-taking mix of glitz and glam, and incredible replica costumes will have you singing and dancing along to the Princess of Pop, Kylie Minogue’s greatest hits. With stunning live performances of hits such as Spinning Around, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, The Locomotion and many more you’re sure to have a blast! Followed by DJ until Late.
EVENTS Monday 29th July CORK PRIDE: WELLBEING EVENING 2019 LINC, White Street, 3:30am - 6pm. This year we will have a fantastic programme running between Gay Project & LINC with a phenomenal line up of guest speakers broaching topics as diverse as we are. Talks about mental & physical well-being within the LGBTI+ community, LINC will host a ‘Constellation Workshop - Healing the past’ with Marija Nuic from 3-6pm. This is an opportunity to reveal and heal transgenerational and childhood trauma.
CORK PRIDE LGBTI+ RIGHTS INFO EVENING Gay Project, 4 South Terrace, 6pm - 9pm Panel discussion on LGBTI+ human rights with leading local and national activists including LGBT Ireland CEO Paula Fegan and founding member of Marriage Equality, former Chair of the NXF and Co-Director of Together for Yes Ailbhe Smyth. Upstairs at the same time, there will be free rapid HIV tests
Ó BHÉAL POETRY EVENT (Upstairs) Long Valley Bar, Winthrop Street, 8:30pm - 11:50pm Ó Bhéal is Cork’s weekly poetry event, featuring poetry-films, a poetry writing challenge, featured guest poet(s) and an open-mic session. Ó Bhéal’s guest poets for Cork Pride 2019 are Jim Crickard and Alana Daly Mulligan. See more here: www.obheal.ie
TUESDAY 30th July CORK PRIDE: WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY COMING OUT EVENT Perry Street Market Cafe, 7:30pm - 10pm A casual evening where we would like to welcome any new members to our community, share our stories and give insight and advice to those struggling with coming out or having difficulties adjusting to their sexuality. An open evening of acceptance and approval where we would like to help you feel comfortable in your own skin and give you the power to be proud of who you are! Guest speakers will include organisations and groups from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans community groups and organisations. And we’ll also be hearing from a member of UP Cork LGBTI+ Youth Group, a parent from the LGB Parents Group, MEP and former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh and more.
WEDNESDAY 31ST July RAINBOW SCIENCE Tyndall National Institute, 6pm Rainbows are magical but only illusions… and rainbows deliver you pretty pictures over the internet*. Make something? Great! For years it was something done on the kitchen table. In fact, some of those experiments are why 180 and 200 are magic numbers in the kitchen, cookies are browned and why we think we seal steaks. But somehow science became scary. An “Other”. So with Tyndall / UCC Student Chapter and MakerDojo you’ll get a chance to make some toys and try out some experiments you can do at home, sometimes with things you can get in the corner shop, and some things you have to go to a little further for. Audience participation required. If you are to become confident inventors, experimenters and creators (like toy makers or neuroscientists), you’ll have to ask lots of questions. Suitable for all ages. Adults especially. Just because you are legally responsible doesn’t mean you can’t play!
EVENTS CORK PRIDE: GAZE FILM FESTIVAL CINEMA NIGHT St Peters, North Main St, 6:30pm - 10pm Fresh off the Indie and Art festival scene, from GAZE LGBT Film Festival join us for an evening of LGBT Irish shorts that reflect the lives, experiences and circumstances of what it is to be LGBT+ in modern Ireland. In keeping with our theme commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots we will then have be screening the remastered documentary ‘Before Stonewall’. An evening to immerse yourself in the magic of film and celebrate our diversity with food drink & popcorn included!
CHAMBERS: WERK IT WEDNESDAY Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE On Wednesdays we wear PINK! Join Mia Gold and very special guests for our Pink Pride Party - wear pink and get a free drink! Our Cork Queens will be dazzling you with their talents and some fun games. Followed by camp classic tunes from DJ Mia Gold.
THURSDAY 1ST AUGUST QUEER LIVES IN ART TOUR Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, 1pm - 2pm From Greek gods and philosophers to Irish artists and actors - and a Cork-born army doctor who assumed a new gender identity! Explore queer lives through art on this free guided tour with curator Dr. Michael Waldron. No booking required. All welcome!
PRIDE POTLUCK LINC, White Street, 6:30pm Join us at LINC for a family friendly evening of good food and good company; we invite all of our LGBT+ family and their families to come dine with us at our community pot luck tea party. This is a child friendly, alcohol free event. Bring a dish and an appetite!
CORK PRIDE: LGBT+ HISTORY INTERACTIVE WALKING TOUR Gay Project, 4 South Terrace, 7pm - 9pm A new addition to the Cork Pride events calendar is our Interactive LGBTI+ Walking History Tour. Cork has a long and rich LGBT+ history that everyone should know. This is not your average walking tour, we’ll also be making pitstops at historical sites where you can check out some fantastic LGBT+ exhibitions, grab a free tea or coffee in an LGBT+ establishment and we’ll even have a quiz with some great prizes to be won. Throw on your trainers and come along to what promises to be a fun learning experience!
CHAMBERS: PRIDE KARAOKE Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE Do you fancy yourself as the next Mariah Carey or Freddie Mercury? Do you love belting out some tunes or live for a good sing-a-long? Join Baza Maher for a special Pride edition of Karaoke and show us what you’re made of! Receive a free drink for every performance and be up for a chance of winning a cash prize. Come along and stun us with your vocal talents! Karaoke 9pm – Midnight. Followed by DJ Jenny B of Sparkle making her Chambers debut until Late! 16
EVENTS SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE AND THANKSGIVING Thursday 1st August, St. Anne’s, Shandon, 7:30PM - 8:30PM A chance for us to gather and reflect on the milestones that have been achieved for our community and to remember the brave souls and dedicated themselves to our cause through tirelessly advocating for our rights and equality. An evening Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving to commemorate those that gave us the courage and the freedom to gather as a community and be proud of who we are.
FRIDAY 2ND AUGUST GAY PROJECT OLDER GENTS GAY SOCIAL (GOLD): PRIDE LUNCH Gay Project 4 South Terrace, 12pm - 3pm This is an opportunity for older Gay, Bi or Trans Men to meet, socialise and chat with other guys of a similar age. The event is facilitated by staff and volunteers in a comfortable space with tea and coffee facilities provided. A library of gay literature and movies are provided in the space with the option of borrowing. Resources are available to take away including free copies of Gay Community News, free condoms and lube.
CORK PRIDE: COMMUNITY BBQ VoxPro, Mahon, 5pm - 9pm Celebrate the start of your PRIDE weekend with our summer sizzler community BBQ sponsored by Voxpro. A chance to catch up with all your friends and family in our community, meet new friends and soak up the summer sun with our festive over 18s gourmet barbeque and a sizzling summer DJ set from Red FM. We’ll also be joined by local Drag Queens Letycha Le’Synn, Mia Gold and their fabulous friends for a spectacular drag extravaganza! Let’s celebrate who we are and come together to revel in our diversity!
TRANS FEMALE AND LESBIAN IDENTITIES LINC, 4 South Terrace LINC, White Street, 7:30pm Dr. Katherine O’Donnell of UCD offers her keynote presentation form Lesbian Lives conference.
RUBYS RETURNS Havana Browns Hanover Street, (See Chambers Facebook for times). Rubys makes its Pride comeback with the handsome DJ Dave Daly. DJ Dave was once resident of Instinct and Sinners and is back to play Rubys at Pride weekend! Expect a set full of nostalgia and some crackin’ tunes.
CHAMBERS: LATIN HEAT NIGHT Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE Want a little hot sauce in your taco? ...well here it is! Time to get your reggaeton on, we’re going to spice up your Friday! Bringing the heat to the dancefloor this pride week, DJ Tommy will have you shaking your salsa with some spicy tunes and setting your Friday night alight!
EVENTS SATURDAY 3RD AUGUST CORK PRIDE: PRIDE VILLAGE Bishop Lucey Park, 12pm – 6pm Make your PRIDE Saturday shine and join us for a sizzling afternoon of community Pride fun and entertainment, with live music from Dublin duo Sylk and The Incredibles. Proudly sponsored by First South Credit Union. Not forgetting those smooth slamming summer tunes by RedFm and an open invitation to the Cork artistic and performance art community to exhibit or perform their work on the day. Get your face painted or try out our fun giant board games from Cork City Sports Partnership and lots of bouncy castles. Grab a bite to eat at our food stalls or check out our stall where PRIDE merchandise will be on sale to ensure that you are the loudest, brightest and most fashionable at this year’s annual PRIDE parade.
TRANS & GENDER QUEER COFFEE MORNING SCRYPT Cafe, 2pm - 3pm This years Trans coffee morning will take place in Scrypt Café and will be hosted by activist Noah Halpin from the ‘This is me’ campaign. An open and welcoming event where you can meet others from the trans community and openly express yourself. Tea and coffee provided.
BI IRELAND COFFEE & GAMES EVENING Chambers, Washington Street, 4pm - 6pm Join Bi Ireland for this fun evening social event with tea, coffee and fun board games provided. A great opportunity to meet people and to celebrate the bi community in Cork.
SATURDAY PRIDE FEVER Souths Bar, Imperial Hotel, 6pm - 1am Join us for Saturday Pride Fever for a pre-Pride Parade Party! Cocktails & Disco Vibes until late celebrating 50 years of PRIDE.
RUBYS RETURNS: PAUL RYDERS RINGMASTERS EXTRAVAGANZA Havana Browns Hanover Street, (See Chambers Facebook for times). Paul Ryder brings his epic Ringmasters Drag Race show to the Rubys stage. Dancers, Queens, and Drag DJ - OH MY! Followed by DJ Mia Gold until Late.
CHAMBERS: TURN BACK TIME - DECADES PARTY Chambers Washington Street, 8pm - LATE Kicking off your Pride Saturday with live music throughout the day followed by DJ Tommy taking you through the hits of the decades. Fancy Dress not optional!
LINC: CLUB NIGHT The Kino, 8pm - LATE Sisters are doing it for ourselves – and each other! LINC’s women’s pride party promises to host entertainment as varied as our incredible cohort of LBT women. Join us at the Kino for a commemorative theatre performance from your favourite thespian lesbian, bi and trans players as LINC Drama celebrates the rebellious and influential women of our past, then onto a foot stomping set from Cork’s own beloved and increasingly popular Sparkle Band. The night finishes with one of the Cork Women’s Fun Weekend favourites D.J Andrea. Doors at 8. Limited Numbers. Tickets € 12 call in to LINC to grab yours.
EVENTS Sunday 4th August CORK PRIDE BREAKFAST Gay Project 4 South Terrace, 11am - 1pm Join us in the Gay Project once again this year for our delicious Pride Breakfast. Round up the family and come get fuelled up and glammed up for the Cork Pride Parade with free face painting on site.
CORK PRIDE: PARADE Grand Parade - Assembling 1pm for 2pm start Get your Pride on and join us for the amazing Cork LGBT+ Pride Parade! March along with us through the streets of Cork amidst a sea of magical floats, music and mayhem, sequined drag queens, glitter-covered guys and girls, families, friends and allies. Come as you are, or wear what you dare! Be loud, be proud, but most importantly, be you! Come an celebrate Stonewall: 50 Years Proud!
CORK PRIDE: PARADE AFTER PARTY Grand Parade - 3pm - 6pm Where the parade ends, the After party begins – literally! Join us after the fabulous Parade for the biggest annual street party in Cork! Our 3-hour party hosted by the legendary Paul Ryder will feature RedFM DJs that will keep you dancing in the streets. Live music will be provided by The Old Moderns and a special performance from Irelands Got Talents RDC who will dance your Pride socks off! Paul Ryder and a glittering array of Cork’s sassiest drag queens including Chambers resident queens - Mia Gold, Letycha Le’Synn and Nettles will keep the party going! With the Cork Pride debut of Ireland youngest drag queen, the fierce Karma O’Hara. This is an after party you do not want to miss!
DISCO BRUNCH The Oyster Tavern (upstairs) 12PM - 5PM Join us at The Oyster Tavern for a Disco Brunch! Our live DJ will be spinning classics from every decade as you fill your belly ahead of the day’s festivities! Feeling adventurous? Opt to go bottomless for an extra €20 and avail of as many Mimosas, Aperol Spritz or Proseccos that your heart desires! Terms and conditions apply, prior booking not essential but recommended. This venue is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users can also book ahead of time to reserve a suitable table.
RUBYS RETURNS PRESENTS: DETOX (RUPAULS DRAG RACE) Havana Browns Hanover Street, See Chambers Facebook for times If Ru’s number one, she’s number two. You disagree? Well that’s on you! D to the E to the T to the O to the, hold up, X! Rupauls Drag Race Season 5 contestant and All Stars 2 Runner Up, DETOX will be hitting the stage in Rubys and the queen bee is going to gag you until you’ve HAD IT! Officially! Followed by DJ Ian Turner. Tickets available through eventbrite.ie strictly over 18’s 2 forms of I.D required R.O.A.R. Meet and Greet in The Hidden Attic 8pm sharp. Show 10pm sharp.
CHAMBERS: PRIDE CLOSING PARTY Chambers Wahsington Street, 4pm - LATE All day Pride Party! It’s going to be one big Rainbow party! We open right before the parade and will have a live music and DJ’s throughout! Sparkle, The Cassettes and Transmission are just some of the acts!
In association with
East Cork / West Waterford LGBT+ Network
BY THE SEA PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY
CORK COUNTY COUNCIL
Live music ,food, games & lots of fun for all the family
Saturday 27th July, 3 - 6pm, Claycastle Beach, Youghal Saturday 27th July, 1 - 5pm, Emmet Square, Clonakilty
PARADE& 12 PM SUN 4TH AUG GRAND PARADE
live music from SYLK & THE INCREDIBLES, red fm DJ’S, GAMES FROM CORK CITY SPORTS PARTNERSHIP, ART IN THE PARK, PRIDE MERCHANDISE & LOTS MORE
RED FM DJS PAUL RYDER THE OLD MODERNS RDC WITH DRAG PERFORMANCES FROM
LETYCHA LE’SYNN KARMA O’HARA
12 - 6pm, Sat 3RD August, Bishop Lucey Park Proudly sponsored by
cork lgbt community 50 & proud Orla Egan is the author of Queer Republic of Cork, Cork’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities, 1970s-1990s, published by Onstream Publications in December 2016. She created the Cork LGBT Archive to preserve and share information on Cork’s rich history of LGBT activism and community formation. She received a Hidden Heritage Award from the Irish Heritage Council for her work. In 2019 the Cork LGBT Archive won the inaugural Community Archive award from the Digital Repository of Ireland. Orla Egan has been actively involved in the Cork LGBT community since the 1980s. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In that time we have also seen 5 decades of LGBT activism and community development in Cork. Since at least the 1970s, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Cork have forged communities, established organisations, set up services and reached out to others. As well as campaigning for LGBT rights and providing services and supports to LGBT people, the LGBT community has played a vital role in movements for social justice and political change in Cork. There were, and still are, close connections, collaborations and mutual support between the LGBT community and other ‘alternative’, left-wing groups and organisations in Cork working towards social and political change in Ireland. For me the primary lesson of the Stonewall Riots is about LGBT people standing up for ourselves and refusing to accept disrespect and harassment. It is about LGBT people rejecting the narrative that said that we were intrinsically deviant and that we deserve violence and harassment– the narrative that says that we should hide who we are in shame and fear. The Stonewall Riots symbolise the LGBT community standing up for ourselves and demanding respect, rights and equality. I think that it is symbolic that some of the people who began the riot were those who experienced the most discrimination, harassment and violence – butch lesbians, drag queens, transgender people – those who refused to hide, refused to be invisible and those who most directly challenged society’s narrow definitions of gender and sexuality. Stonewall wasn’t the first LGBT protest but it has come to symbolise the birth of gay liberation and resistance. We can see this same ethos in the emergence of the LGBT community in Cork and in Ireland. From at least the 1970s Irish LGBT people challenged the dominant attitudes to LGBT people in our society – that we were sick, sinners and criminals. The LGBT community challenged criminalisation, discrimination and 22
prejudice and demanded equality and respect and set about trying to create the change we wanted to see. The Cork LGBT communities set up organisations, opened gay centres, provided services and supports for the community and created safe spaces for socialising. The community also engaged with the public and the media to challenges stereotypes and misinformation about the LGBT community. For example in January 1978, over 40 years ago, members of the Cork branch of the Irish Gay Rights Movement took part in a radio programme Homosexuals in Cork, stimulating discussion and debate – apparently the phone lines were ‘hopping.’ This was about refusing to stay hidden and working to create the type of society we wanted to live in. Linked with the Stonewall Riots was the emerging ideology of gay liberation - that we should counter shame with gay pride – we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it! This ideology of Gay Liberation filtered through to Cork and can be seen in particular in the emergence of the Cork Gay Collective in 1980. The Cork Gay Collective was established as a new, more radical type of Irish gay group, recognising that legal change was important, but that this was not enough. What was needed was a deeper challenge to society’s view of sexuality and gender stereotyping. They sought to encourage more positive and open attitudes among gay people to our sexuality. They also located the struggle for gay rights as part of a wider movement for social change and made links between homophobia and discrimination against gays and lesbians and other oppressed groups in Ireland and internationally. In particular they made links between the struggle for gay rights and feminism and the challenge both posed to the control of sexuality and gender roles in Irish society. The establishment of the Quay Co-op in 1982 and Loafers Bar in 1983 provided important bases for the further development of the Cork LGBT community and also fostered close links and
connections with other radical groups and campaigns in Cork. As well as campaigning for LGBT rights and providing services and supports to LGBT people, the LGBT community has played a vital role in movements for social justice and political change in Cork and in Ireland. It wasn’t all plain sailing – the community still faced discrimination and prejudice. Telephone helplines were established to provide support for people coming out – TelA-Friend in the 1970s, the Lesbian Line and Gay Information Cork in the 1980s. However the local papers, the Cork Examiner and Evening Echo refused to run adverts for these helplines, claiming that it was illegal to do so, making it difficult for people to find the supports they needed.
The LGBT community challenged criminalisation, discrimination and prejudice and demanded equality and respect and set about trying to create the change we wanted to see.
The AIDS crisis in the 1980s led to increased prejudice and violence against the community. But despite these challenges the Cork LGBT community continued to thrive, to organise and to create positive spaces for the LGBT community and continued to demand rights and respect. We have seen some of the fruits of these efforts in recent years with decriminalisation of homosexuality, Marriage Equality and Gender Recognition legislation. LGBT activism continues in Cork today with the Gay Project, LINC, Gender Rebels. The Cork LGBT Archive works to record, preserve and share the rich history of our community and all we have achieved.
Many of the ‘Firsts’ in Irish LGBT activism happened in Cork: 1st National Gay Conference, Cork, 1981 1st AIDS leaflet, Cork, 1985 1st NUI College to acknowledge a LGBT Society, UCC, 1989 1st Irish Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Cork, 1991 1st Irish LGBT Float in a Patrick’s Day Parade, 1992 1st Irish State building to fly rainbow flag, Cork City Hall, 2013 The ethos of the Stonewall Riots and Gay Liberation greatly influenced the ethos of LGBT organisations in Cork and in Ireland – refusing to cower and to accept the violence, prejudice, discrimination – to stand up and say no – we want a better world for LGBT people and then to set about creating the state we want to live in. The work is by no means done – there are still serious issues to be addressed – the ongoing bullying experienced by young LGBT people in schools, prejudice and lack of services for the transgender community, lack of marriage equality in Northern Ireland. But for now we should be proud of our rich history and of how far we have come. Now Ireland is seen as a model to be emulated by others seeking to bring about greater equality for LGBT communities – we are exporting our knowledge and experience of social change.
By Orla Egan
The Bi-racial Butch Lesbian of Stonewall Stormé DeLarverie When the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 and the struggle for LGBT rights are mentioned and celebrated, figures such as Craig Rodwell and Frank Kameny are regarded as two of the principal people involved in bringing about a positive change for the LGBT community. Although lesbians share the same concerns regarding prejudice and injustice as gay men, they face additional barriers due to enduring patterns of discrimination against women. Black lesbians face even more discrimination because they belong to three minority groups. One such lesbian is Stormé DeLarverie, who has essentially been forgotten and erased from LGBT history. So, who was this important champion of LGBT rights? Stormé DeLarverie was born in Louisiana in 1920 and grew up in New Orleans. Her mother was a black servant in the house of her father, who was white. As she had no birth certificate, she did not know her exact birth date and chose December 24th as her birthday. Stormé had a tough time growing up biracial in New Orleans. She told the journalist Kirk Klocke in an interview that she still had scars from when bullies hung her by the leg from a fence post. Her brother had to free her from the fence, and she wore a brace for years. She started singing as a teenager in New Orleans dance clubs until she came out as lesbian aged 18. She then moved to Chicago. She stated that the family “had to get me out of New Orleans or I would have been killed”. She does not elaborate on what this meant and whether it was her skin colour or her sexuality, or both, which put her life in danger. Stormé began her performing career in the 1940s as Stormy Dale, a big band singer. From 1955 to 1969, she worked as drag king and M.C. of the Jewel Box Revue, a drag/female impersonator touring company, and the first racially integrated drag show in the USA. This company was advertised as “Twenty-five Men and a Girl”, and the solo “girl” of the show was Stormé DeLarverie! She dressed in male attire in her performances, while her male colleagues masqueraded as women. She was androgynous, and was often mistaken for a man. However, this did not matter to her – she declared that “Some say sir and some say ma’am….It makes no difference to me”. She had a great understanding of both men and women – she stated that “Women and men think pretty much the same. I hear both sides of the story – for I am one and I mimic the other”. A dancer named Diana, who died not long after the Stonewall Riots, was the love of her life. Being a mixed race androgynous lesbian made Stormé distinctive and also vulnerable. This vulnerability as well as Stormé’s challenges in childhood made her very protective of people in the LGBT community, and she strove to keep this minority group safe.
It was a lesbian’s struggle with the police that ignited the Stonewall Riots. Accounts of the Stonewall Riots describe how a butch lesbian in men’s clothing was arrested for not wearing the three pieces of clothing correct for her gender, and she was brought out to the police van during the raid. She complained to the police, either because they were rough with her or because her handcuffs were too tight (reports differ on this). She fought the police and attempted to go back into the Stonewall Inn several times, whereupon an officer picked her up and threw her into the police van. Her head 26
was bleeding from having been hit with a billy club by the police. As she was pushed into the van, she urged the gay men watching her ordeal to help her, asking, “Why don’t you guys do something?” It was then that the tension of that night (28th June 1969) and of lifetimes of abuse erupted. Gay and lesbian people felt that the police were being unnecessarily brutal, and they reacted in fury. The identity of the lesbian who triggered this important event in LGBT history is disputed, but many reports declare that it was Stormé DeLarverie. As all the accounts differ, the truth cannot be confirmed, however, my research points clearly towards the fact that it was Stormé Delarverie and the fact that her involvement in this momentous event in LGBT history has been unfairly erased. David Carter states in his book, Stonewall: the riots that sparked the gay revolution, that Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis, 1940-1996, asserts that it was in fact Stormé DeLarverie. However, David Carter disagrees with this, adding that all the witnesses he interviewed for his research describe the woman in question as Caucasian, and Stormé was African-American. However, in certain photos, Stormé does not look particularly African-American; she had, after all, only one black parent. Penny Coleman’s book, Village Elders describes Stormé as “a black woman with a white face”. This contradicts David Carter’s claim that it could not have been Stormé who initiated the Stonewall Riots, because she might actually have looked Caucasian. Amy Lamé affirms in her book that it was Stormé DeLarverie whose brutal treatment by police and whose anger at the police sparked the Stonewall Riots. Ann Bausum describes the lesbian’s scuffle with police in her book, Stonewall: breaking out in the fight for gay rights, giving a similar account to that of David Carter, but she does not mention the name of the lesbian who changed the course of history by reacting against the injustices she was experiencing. Stormé herself confirmed that it was her who threw the first punch at the Stonewall Riots. She was involved in forming the Stonewall Veterans Association, and at a public videotaped event organised by this group, she described that on the night in question (28th June 1969), a policeman told her to “move faggot”, mistaking her for a man. She protested that she would “not and don’t you dare touch me”. The policeman then shoved her and she punched him. She then states that she was handcuffed, hit in the head with a billy club and dragged into a police van, and as her head bled, she asked the crowd, “Why don’t you guys do something?” This account of the incident in Stormé’s own words (which mirror the account in my previous paragraph) should be enough to prove that it was, in fact, Stormé DeLarverie who caused the spark that would ignite the LGBT rights movement. Clare Heuchan argues in her article, We need to talk about misogyny and the LGBT community’s erasure of black lesbian history that black representation, female representation and lesbian representation are difficult to find, especially when you’re searching for all three at once, because misogyny is at the core of society, even in the LGBT community. She describes how the National Centre for Lesbian Rights erased Stormé DeLarverie as the revolutionary who started the Stonewall Riots and instead claimed on the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that the protest was “led by transwomen of color” and that “we are following the lead of our movement mothers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera”. Stormé, Marsha and Sylvia were all of colour, same-sex attracted and gender non-conforming at a time when it was difficult and even dangerous to be any one of these things. Marsha participated in the Stonewall Riots but did not initiate them, and Sylvia was not present at the Stonewall Riots. Stormé was the person who ignited this revolution, but her engagement in it is erased; this is another example of how the credit due to Stormé for her part in the LGBT movement is completely undermined. Stormé DeLarverie was a campaigner for the LGBT community and for victims of domestic violence throughout her life. She worked as a bouncer at lesbian bars in the latter part of her life, including the Cubby Hole and Henrietta Hudson. She also appointed herself guardian of lesbians and drag queens in Greenwich Village. She would patrol the streets while legally armed and would not put up with any form of discrimination, bullying or abuse of any lesbians or drag queens in the village. She saw this as babysitting and referred to the lesbians and drag queens fondly as her “babies”. Having suffered herself for being lesbian, biracial and androgynous, she did not want anyone else to have to be subjected to discrimination in a similar way. Sadly, Stormé suffered from dementia in later years, and she died following a heart attack in May 2014, aged 93. Her considerable and important contribution to the LGBT rights movement should be acknowledged and held in high regard. Let us honour her and let us not forget her.
- By Deirdre Swain
Deirdre Swain works in Cork City Libraries, and as part of her work wrote the material for and organised an exhibition on the Stonewall Riots as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of that momentous event in LGBT history. She is an LGBT activist having canvassed during the marriage referendum in 2015 and is passionate about LGBT rights. She is fascinated by Stormé DeLarverie – the butch lesbian who rioted at Stonewall; a wonderful woman who she describes ‘has sadly been erased from history’. 27
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Uniformed Gardaí at Pride; Progression or Oppression? Members of the Community still being targeted today! By Bella FitzPatrick Managing Director at ShoutOut Let me first address the idea that asking Gardai not to march in uniform is being “exclusionary”. Inclusivity does not mean letting any group march. Inclusivity means everyone from the community is catered for - and while there are LGBT gardai, they can still be included by marching in civilian clothes. Inclusivity means we make arrangements for the most marginalised (gardai are not marginalised), it means we try to make a space safe in a world that isn’t. Not allowing Gardai to march is not exclusion, it’s boundaries. It’s also interesting to hear people calling for “inclusion” when speaking about Gardai marching but not when Pride was nearly completely inaccessible to those with mobility disabilities. If we’re going to argue about inclusion perhaps, we should start with disabled members of the LGBT community. Ireland is not America, but yet we cannot ignore that the Western queer rights movement was galavanized at the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York City, a riot against police, and this year is the 50th anniversary. The people who started the riots were sex workers, they were trans women of colour, they wanted to stop being harassed and murdered, they wanted access to healthcare, and safe legal sex work. So, all of the reasons Pride began have not yet been fulfilled. Trans women of colour are still being murdered, sex work is still criminalised. The idea that gardai can march because everything is sorted with marriage is a practice in revisionist history. If we continue to pink wash our history we will never gain justice for those who died for us. People are still being targeted today by Gardai. I know this because I’ve spoken in private to those who have. This has come from friends/ acquaintances, many of whom are Queer People of Colour (QPOC), homeless or housing insecure, a lot of them are trans. One example involves a trans person being told if they didn’t cooperate, the garda would press on their neck until they are unconscious. Another is of a friend reporting a hate crime and being told that they shouldn’t dress that way if they don’t want to be picked on. Someone I know was spat on by a garda at pride last year. Not to mention the armed gardai at evictions, especially considering that homelessness disproportionately impacts LGBT folks. People have made the arguments that these were individuals having a bad experience with individual Gardai. But individual interactions are part of a pattern, part of decades of similar abuse suffered by the same type of queer people. It can still be systematic 30
abuse even if you are no longer part of the targeted group. To think that AGS is not a tool of oppression is to be unaware of the many issues surrounding An Garda Siochana. Dara Quigley is dead just over 2 years having been bullied by police. No one has been held accountable. Families are being shoved into direct provision camps, masked armed gardai evicting people, rape cases not being investigated. And just a couple of weeks ago, a horrific video of police attacking a 15 year old in Balbriggan was released on twitter. When I first saw the video it was very familiar, a black child on the ground, a swarm of white police on top of him. I thought this must be from the USA, but no, it’s in Ireland. I can’t believe members of our community can wave all these issues aside with one hand and use the other hand to welcome the gardai to march alongside us. It really makes me so sad. The uniform means something; It represents the An Garda Siochana, it represents their authority over civilians, and for some it represents oppression. On one hand I’m being asked to consider the individually of the Gardai, and my answer is that in uniform they are not individuals. They are part of an institution, a powerful institution which can arrest you, beat you up, share naked videos of you, all with seemingly no repercussions. There’s a twisted idea that because Gardai are no longer beating up cis, white gay men that the gardai are now queer-friendly. But perhaps cis, white gay men should not be the litmus test by which we measure all oppression. Step outside your box for one moment and listen to those who feel unsafe around uniformed Gardai. Recognise your privilege. There is a solution - they don’t march in uniform. See, they can take off their uniform easily. My friends cannot take off their skin colour, or their poverty, or their identity. Most importantly they cannot take off the fear they feel in the presence of uniformed gardai, whether that’s a fear you feel also or not.
Here are both sides of the debate
Policing Diversity Tonie Walsh Curator, Irish Queer Archive It’s impossible to forget my first Pride. 1980. The LGBT civil rights movement was six years old. I was a puppyfaced 19-yr-old in a hurry to change the world, wide-eyed with wonder at my own self-discovery and the smell of change in the air. The Special Branch stopped me one night as I was fly posting on St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, putting up posters for Ireland’s 2nd Gay Pride Week. Some questioning and disdainful posturing ensued. Politically active a full year, I was reasonably aware of my rights and yet fully cognisant that I was a criminal -possibly deemed subversive- in the eyes of the two heavies giving me jip as I went about my earnest gay business. I was lucky when, two years later, the Garda rolled out their murder investigation of the Charles Self murder. Unlike many of my mates in Cork and Dublin, I was never called in to give “evidence” or “help” in the investigation. Worrying stories escalated of men being coerced into giving information, compelled to be photographed and fingerprinted under barely legal circumstances. The spill-over of subversive violence from the North was ever present. It was an awful time, especially as the government was intent on steamrolling through the Criminal Justice Act, a nasty piece of legislation that rode roughshod over people’s civil liberties while giving the police unwarranted powers of detention, etc.
We have had many reasons not to trust the police anywhere on the island of Ireland. Decriminalisation began a long thaw, accelerated by the roll-out of community liaison officers. The work of people like Sgt. Finbar Murphy in Dublin was a much needed exercise in building trust and a fillip to a new generation of better educated and earnest police officers who came of age in an era where anti-discrimination legislation was a given and notions of social inclusion and diversity were no long considered optional. The establishment by Paul Franey of G-Force, the Garda LGBT Staff Network, in 2005 signaled a major shift in attitudes, not just to LGBT personnel within the police force but community policing itself. The changes were a long time coming and, unsurprisingly, were met with resistance in some quarters, even at the top. As servants of the state, the Garda, not unlike the Armed Forces, cannot remain immune to changes in government policy, shifting cultural attitudes and a civic society keen to press its concerns and needs. Without question we have a police force that needs to find the courage and empathy to acknowledge its collective insensitivity and even brutality in years gone by. However, the Garda were not alone in behaving badly. All of statutory Ireland and civic society is culpable in the disgraceful marginalisation and victimisation of LGBT citizens of past years. It serves no purpose to engage in victim shopping and only target the Garda for past misdemeanors when all they were doing was articulating the formal policy of a state in thrall to questionable ideology and dodgy morality. It’s past time to truly recognise the gentle revolution that has been taking place in all sectors of our society, not least the Garda and Armed Forces. Institutional homophobia within the Garda is no more, although there’s a conversation to be had about ramping up a training module at Templemore Garda Academy that’s fit for 21st-century purpose. There’s no more fitting tribute to changed attitudes in the Garda than that which former president, Dr. Mary McAleese, articulated last August at the GAZE film festival, when she acclaimed the PSNI and An Garda Síochána marching together in uniform at Belfast’s LGBT Pride parade. Let us continue in our journey of progressive self-awareness and collective social empathy in the context of community policing.
My colleagues and I on the board of the National Gay Federation (as it was then known) came under extraordinary pressure to release our confidential membership files, something we refused to do. The murder investigation rolled on while more gay men were routinely beaten up and others, like John Roche in Cork and Declan Flynn in Dublin, were savagely murdered. To many of us, it seemed like the police were happy to turn a blind eye to the anti-gay violence around us. In this, the Garda were no better than the state they served, content to ignore us most of the time. When we dared to step out of our box, the existence of Victorian criminal law was a convenient fig leaf to cover homophobic bullying, harassment and victimisation. In the North, the RUC continued using “pretty police” (agents provocateurs) well into the 1990s to harass and arrest men in well-known cruising spots. As P.A. McLoughlin of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association remarked during the Troubles: “With bombs and bullets going off on a regular basis, you’d think the police had better things to do than wait around for some guy to wave his willy at another man”. 31
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A Year of Transformation at the Gay Project By Pádraig Rice and Michael O’Donnell Since last year’s Cork LGBT+ Pride the Gay Project has undergone a momentous transformation. We have kickstarted 11 new groups, held two new courses, ran countless new events, created a new space, hired two new staff, added 12 new volunteers, responded to new ideas – all the while maintaining the same core purpose of supporting gay, bi+, trans and queer men. This has been a hectic journey of change that has made the Gay Project more vibrant, more visible and more relevant. The purpose of this article is to guide you through some of that change and explain the reasons for it.
New groups The most notable change in the last year is the explosion of new community groups and activities. From new youth supports to a space dedicated to over 55s and from cultural groups to sports – there is now something for everyone.
Theses groups are: • • • • • • • • • • •
Cork Frontrunners LGBT Running Club. OUT LIT LGBT Book Club. GOLD – Over 55s Social Group. TENI’s Trans Youth Peer Support Group. Yoga Club. Gay Rambling Hillwalking Group. Reel Scene Movie Club. ACT UP HIV Activism Group. Trans and Gender Queer Coffee Morning. OUT Past 10 monthly Social Club. GBT Drama Group.
These are on top of the pre-existing: • • •
Parents of LGB Group UP Cork LGBT Youth Group Queer Vibes LGBT Coffee Social Group
New Engagements (from a President to a Prince)
Last summer we had the honoured of meeting President Michael D. Higgins at a garden party in Aras an Uachtarain. This followed a quick word with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar at Dublin Castle later in the summer and an invite to a reception with the Prince of Wales at Cork City Hall. We were also trilled to welcome Minister David Stanton and Senators Jerry Buttimer and Colette Kelleher to the launch of the Winter Wellness Programme in October. To top it all off in February we met with the Lord Mayor, Mick Finn, who kindly featured in our new promotional video.
On top of all of the new groups we also ran two successful courses. The first a personal development course for men facilitated by Robert Fourie, the second art therapy led by Graham Redmond. Robert and Graham are both qualified and experienced practitioners. Both expressed a keen interest in working closely with this community in particular and both felt that they wanted to give back to the community using their professional skills. These courses offered men an opportunity to explore issues like self-care, self-confidence, and self-expression. Spanning over two months, each of the courses gave people an opportunity to make new friends or reconnect to the community.
New events We have also hosted a range of one off events. These ranged from the all sparkling, all dancing, all singing, Drag Extravaganza that saw 350 people visit the Gay Project on Culture Night to Corkâ€™s first ever LGBT History Festival â€“ Outing the Past, in the heart of City Hall, and a very special visit by the Laurate for Irish Fiction Sebastian Barry. It also included some smaller events on the Make Up for Men classes, coffee mornings and a Christmas Party.
To tackle head on the health inequalities faced by the community over the last 12 months we have run a series of workshops on mental, physical and sexual health. These have included classes on consent, discussions about porn, workshops on emotional selfcare, healthy cooking demos and more.
In the last year we have grown from 1 to three staff. Last August Michael O’Donnell joined us part-time to work on Communications, Campaigns and Community Development. He has recently become full-time adding volunteer coordination to his role and he also provides a range of training and workshops. Last month Mark Holland joined us a new part-time staff member. He is the Community Liaison – welcoming people to the community centre, supporting some of the groups and reaching out to the community in a variety of ways.
New space One of the biggest changes has been to our space. Thanks to the wonderful artistic direction and unparalleled work ethic of Konrad Im the Gay Project Community Centre has been transformed into a fresh new space. The Centre is now set up in a café style, with storage spaces for groups, a library, a shop and kitchen facilities. The walls have been painted, new furniture has been bought and work is underway to create a garden space.
New Volunteers Since Christmas we have recruited 12 new volunteers to our team. These volunteers are involved in virtually every aspect of service delivery in our organisation. Some examples of the volunteers include Mark O Brien, the volunteer librarian who manages the Out-Lit Bookclub which meets in the city library on a monthly basis. Another addition includes the tireless Anthony Morey who carries out the role of maintenance and general repairs in addition to painting, gardening, cleaning and helping out generally. Further examples of one of the new volunteer roles includes Adam Lacey who volunteers in the area of communications and design and has never failed to produce beautiful designs/logos when we needed them. Yet more examples is Ashish the photographer who has taken photos for a variety of purposes and is always willing to help out. Finally, Kevin who volunteers his time in the areas of mental health and wellbeing and the maintenance of the drama club and development of the drama club. Without the dedicated work of these volunteers and others we could not deliver the same high quality service that we do.
New name Some of you may have noticed that we changed our name and logo. In the past the organisation has been called many things – most often the Cork Gay Project. For official purposes it is called the Cork Gay Community Development Project Company Limited by Guarantee (a mouthful to say the least). To many community members it was known as the Gay Men’s Health Project. For others it was known by personalities – the place where Dave Roche worked or the place where Arthur Leahy was gone to (hence the name the Other Place).
For the time ahead we have chosen the simple name the Gay Project. The new name and brand we hope will signal that our doors are open to all regardless of where they are from– we are delighted to have people travelling each week from Waterford, Tipperary and Clare to attend our events. We have also added a tag line ‘gay, bi, queer, MSM, and trans’ to say out loud that we support a diversity of sexualities and gender identities.
New Ideas We have opened our self to new ideas and ways of working. We have tried to reach people where they are with new ads on Grindr and better use of social media- with over 1,000 new Facebook likes in 12 months. Our work and actions have been led by feedback from the community – from notes stuck in the suggestion box, chats over coffee, and more formal submissions. This summer we will put a formal strategic plan for the next three years so we continue to build a thriving organisation for our diverse community. We have also collated some of these ideas into a policy proposal Making Cork the Best Place to be LGBT that we launched in advance of the local elections. These included big ideas like a dedicated HSE Gay Men’s Health Service and more novel ones like a rainbow crossing.
New Partnerships Recognising the value of community partnerships and shared knowledge, we endeavoured to develop new allies and networks to raise a broader awareness of LGBT+ issues across the statutory and community sectors. To this end we have developed new partnerships in areas such as sexual health by being an founding member of the Cork Sexual Health Network. The Sexual Health Network is aimed at raising awareness of the sexual health services across the region. In addition, we have also signed a new agreement with the Sexual Health Centre to provide free monthly free Rapid HIV Testing in our centre and have worked on innovative ways to promote the testing including the use of ads kindly supported by Grindr. We have provided the first ever LGBT representative to the Local Drug and Alcohol Taskforce and we have participated in other networks such as the Learning Neighbourhoods. Finally, we have worked to strengthen the bonds from the pre-existing networks such as LGBT Ireland, ILGA Europe, CESCA and others.
Same core purpose Despite all this change our core purpose remains the same. We exist to support gay, bi, trans and queer men. To celebrate gender and sexual diversity and to campaign for LGBTQ+ human rights and policy protections. Like those who have ran the organisation before us we want to create a situation where everyone from our community can participate fully in Ireland’s economic, social, cultural, political and artistic life. To put it more simply we want to ensure everyone is enabled to live their best life – whatever that might be.
BUTTIMER Cork South Central
k c u L f o Best
24 Douglas West, Cork 021 436 3402 Seanad Office 01 6183 380 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jerrybuttimer.ie JerryButtimer
support from cork city fc Cork City FC is delighted to partner with Cork Pride to help raise awareness for inclusiveness and support the Cork Pride LGBT Festival. The Rebel Army will wear special one-off “Pride” numbers on their shirts in one of Cork City’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division matches in Turner’s Cross in July/August. This will be a first for a League of Ireland club. Cork City FC is steeped in the community. The club is owned by its supporters, a rarity in modern day football. As a volunteer driven organisation, “The Leesiders” currently have five academy teams: an amputee team and a senior men’s and women’s teams. The club has a large presence on social media, being Ireland’s number one followed football club. The special one-off “Pride” shirts worn by the players will be auctioned afterwards on eBay throughout August and all funds raised from the sale of the shirts will be used to support inclusiveness projects supported by the Cork Pride committee.
More about Cork City FC Cork City FC was founded in 1984. In 2010, the club’s ownership was taken over by the supporters via the supporters’ trust “FORAS”. The trust is run by a 7-person board of management. New trustees can be nominated to join the Board each year and the group works closely with the club’s General Manager and other full-time staff to ensure that daily operations abide by the core club tenets of sustainability, community and volunteerism. FORAS’ membership currently stands at over 600 and has provided over three hundred thousand euro of financial support towards the running of Cork City FC since 2010. During this time the club has gone from strength to strength - from finding its feet in the First Division to winning the First Division title in 2011, to vying for the league title and competing in UEFA’s European competitions. 2017 saw the club complete a historic domestic double, winning both the League of Ireland Premier Division and FAI Senior Cup trophies
Speaking on this partnership, Cork City chairman Declan Carey said: “We’re delighted to partner with the Cork Pride Festival this year. The Cork Pride committee and FORAS have a lot in common in terms of community spirit, inclusiveness and pride in Cork! We hope to raise funds through the auction of very rare player shirts to help support the Cork Pride team with their projects throughout the next number of months.”
The Linc Legacy: 20 and counting
By Ciara Mulcahy
When I first experienced the warm embrace of the couches in LINC and was presented with the caffeinated depth of a serious brew it was to write for the LINC drama group… or so I thought. Ushered in by the health worker at the time – Mary Cleary – I began an adventure I never could have imagined. The couches and the coffee and the hilarious Tuesday night meet ups led to a stage full of laughter, truth and activism. As the glorious Leslie Feinberg said ‘never underestimate the power of fiction to tell the truth’ and that’s what we did. That year and the year that would follow we told our truth and the truth of our lesbian, bi and trans sisters. Before opening night, when dress rehearsal was done Sonya Matthews, our director, mentor and friend asked us – as a projection exercise – to hit the back wall of the theatre with our experiences of LINC drama. Praise and tears flowed. For all of us, LINC had become our safe harbour and the power and gentle strength of the community became apparent to me. Then! News of the Gay Games was buzzing about the community, the lesbian phone tree triumphed and shortly I heard Sarah O’Sullivan’s voice on the end of the line ready to start up a queer women’s boxing club. Just shy of a year from our first night’s training we headed off to Paris and represented county and country on an international stage. Cork dykes proved mighty in the ring and took home two golds, a silver and a bronze. The Cork women in our community also excelled in other sports such as badminton, swimming and soccer. Play writing and acting with LINC drama and jet setting for punching purposes with LINC boxing was a dream. I felt privileged, appreciated and seen in all my otherness. Almost two years on from my first night in LINC I was incredibly privileged to be appointed to the community health work position and afforded the opportunity to really immerse myself in what the organisation is and to write about what LINC does is an honour but my side of the story is but a tiny fraction. I and my experience are a small part of the foliage – the beginnings are rooted in a decades long struggle and effort from some powerful women – one of whom I called to assist me in writing this piece…
LINC started off as Cairde Chorcai on Georges Quay, then moved to a room in Princes street before graduating to her current abode on White Street; an event which welcomed the then president of Ireland to open the premises. Rita recalled flying the tricolour and the rainbow flag off the front of LINC for the official state visit with pride. Toddy Hogan also served the community as coordinator of LINC and had this to say about the organisation: ‘Working in LINC for 7 years was an honour and a privilege! It showcased how a community resource centre/organisation can truly be ‘for the community by the community’. Personally, it’s a space to me, a space for individuality & togetherness- mine, ours, yours!’
How it was in the beginning In the words of LINC’s first coordinator, the initial undertaking of serving the community (and having an appropriate community centre) was like ‘moving a mountain of sh*#e with a teaspoon’. Rita Wild’s northern curl graced me with stories of the beginning and her voice was full of warmth and remembering. She championed the efforts of women who she says ‘kicked in doors’ for the community and ‘invited us to sit at the table’. She spoke of the women who worked tirelessly to secure funding and legitimise the need for a community space some of whom I get to work with in my current role – women with an eye for social justice and the backbone to go along with it.
LINC // CELEBRATING 20 YEARS 40
Where we’re at We’ve undergone many changes since 1999 and today LINC looks like this: A community centre which offers various supports: a drop in three days a week, workshops and clubs ranging from pilates and soccer to adventure club and the book club. We host and support some of the most prominent social events in the community’s calendar. We offer subsided counselling and peer support. We offer training to all manner of professionals on LGBT awareness and we advocate for LBT women’s rights. On the ground, the every day looks like this; a community hub that offers a one of a kind, women only, queer space. We are smiling faces and a sanctuary where we know how you take your tea or coffee. We look like a bus load of LBT women heading off to jump off obstacle courses in the middle of a lake or we’re engaged eyes and listening ears on a wintery night. We are banging drums and marching beside you at Pride or putting our arm around you during trying times. We are on stage telling your story, or hers, or mine. We’re from many counties and countries, every social class and none, every age and stage of life.
To the women who have contemplated it but not come in, who have picked up the phone or sent an email but then passed the building or not even made it that far, to the ones who follow on Facebook or Instagram but haven’t come through the door – come in! Whether it’s to Pilates on a Monday, Drama on a Tuesday, In 4 Lunch on a Wednesday, Boxing on Thursday, Drop in or any of the monthly meets ups like book club or adventure club – there’s something for everyone. To finish I extend an excited and warm invitation to celebrate LINC’s 20th anniversary in the coming months (keep an ear our on our social media for updates) may the ambition, growth and success of the two decades be matched only by the next two!
LINC has moved and adapted dynamically throughout the last two decades we have welcomed 3 coordinators and various members of staff. We currently stand as a team of 5 headed by Kate Moynihan who, as the brain and the voice of the organisation, represents us nationally and locally and works tirelessly (seriously! We sometimes slide food under the door!) to ensures that we, as an organisation respond and adapt to the changing and growing needs and wants of the women in Cork and around Ireland guaranteeing that the community is properly advocated for at every level. Our accounts administrator Sarah O’Sullivan (who is also our all-round creative consultant, practicality advisor and events and adventure coordinator), two community liaison personnel who will ensure the first experience you have in LINC is warm and most probably hilarious in Esther Young and Denise Murray and as community health worker I will do my best to consider every element of the community’s well-being from social, emotional and mental to sexual and physical and all else in between. We cannot have a conversation about LINC without mentioning the women who give their energy and time simply to contribute to their community - we are fuelled by our incredible volunteers who support the drop in service, take care of our stands at events and assist in the running of our gatherings and celebrations here at LINC. As we march through our twentieth year our next big challenge (well, one of them) is to secure a suitable building so if anyone out there with a spare building or an excess of funds and is feeling like a philanthropist give us a call! Beyond that we continue to grow and adapt to a changing and diverse community, to represent and advocate for queer women at a variety of levels. I asked our coordinator Kate about what’s on the agenda for LINC’s future: ‘well, the job still isn’t done; our families need to be legally recognised and protected; our trans community continue to face prejudice and discrimination; older LGBT people need to be supported; LGBT asylum seekers need to be welcomed and know that they are safe in Ireland, to name but a few of the issues. Much to do and LINC will continue to work beside and for our community as long as we’re needed’. To finish, without delving into an emotional (adjective heavy) monologue on my love for this organisation, I wish I hadn’t waited!
1999 - 2019
11a White Street, Cork Ph: 021 4808600 | E: email@example.com 41
Boston Scientific Ireland are proud to promote respect, inclusion, diversity and equality. We wish all our employees and the wider community a happy 2019 Cork Pride Festival.
What pride means to me: Dan & Linda Kiely Pride for us is about being accepted for who you are. Good business is all about respecting and celebrating people for who they are -- this philosophy has ensured the Voxpro family is as high-performing as it is diverse. The diversity of our workforce is what makes us who we are. We are so proud to have nurtured an inclusive culture at Voxpro which has evolved organically over the years. One of our core values at Voxpro is â€˜You Belongâ€™ and this is the foundation of our organisation. We believe that it is imperative for all organisations to not only embrace diversity and inclusion, but to build strategies around it to drive forward the message of belonging. Pride means freedom. Pride means acceptance. Pride is sharing love and understanding that being loved is the most precious fortune in life.
Kevin O’Sullivan, Trust & Safety Specialist Pride to me means accepting who I am or who you are. In the end, I am who I am. Regardless of our gender identity, I am me and you are you -- and that won’t change regardless of what people say. That to me, is what pride means to me.
Kayleigh Cronin, CX Specialist at Voxpro Pride allows for everyone from a variety of different backgrounds to come together and celebrate humanity, love and acceptance. While I am not a member of the community, I will celebrate my friends, colleagues and family being who they are unconditionally.
Marta Carboni, Team Manager Pride to me is the joy, the pleasure of being who you are and enjoying it. Pride is a great big family and this means that ‘’nobody is left behind or forgotten’’, as the Disney movie ‘’Lilo and Stitch’’ said. My own family has always educated us on this principle: we are all humans and we belong together.
Saoirse Mackin, Training/Quality Lead To me, pride means being accepting of others and understanding that everyone is unique, being proud of who you are and expressing yourself however it makes you comfortable. Pride means staying true to you, being you.
At PepsiCo we are passionate about fostering a diverse, inclusive culture where everyone feels respected and supported. Treating everyone – both inside and outside our company – with mutual respect, compassion and empathy is part of PepsiCo’s core values and ensures success for both our business and communities. We recognise that we’ve all got a part to play in creating an inclusive workforce and so our employees have set up an internal LGBTA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Allies) network, EQUAL. Since its establishment in 2000, EQUAL has raised awareness and educated colleagues around LGBTA+ issues within PepsiCo, empowering colleagues to bring their full selves to work. Externally, our Irish EQUAL group have shown support for the LGBTA+ communities close to our Irish sites, and we are now very proud to sponsor our first Irish Pride in Cork. Explore PepsiCo career opportunities at www.PepsiCoJobs.com
At VMware, we celebrate our people from a wide variety of dynamic backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. We deliver transformative IT solutions by harnessing the power of human difference and building a community that is inclusive and diverse. Our diversity and inclusion initiative, VMinclusion, is a business-led effort to attract and engage the multinational, multicultural talent critical to our globally connected business.
We asked some of our employees from around the globe why D&I is important in the workplace and what it means to them as part of the LGBTQ+ community and as allies.
Charley J. Woodward
Dir. EMEA Support Renewals, VMware, UK “For me, successful D&I is where everyone wins! This includes all employees and continued success in our company’s performance. For employees, we win through being able to bring our true, full authentic selves to work, as this brings increased levels of creativity and drives our personal productivity! The company wins through increasing our pool of potential top talent by providing the best quality candidates with the right credentials for open roles. By embracing D&I we can improve the employee retention of our top talent! A company’s best assets are their employees. Energised authentic employees = Improved company performance! Simple.”
Technical Support Engineer, VMware, Cork “After 4 years in VMware, I have no words to describe how proud I am in this company. A couple of months ago some work colleagues found out that I was meeting a guy and they always ask when we are going to have our gay wedding. I wish! At VMware we are not restricted from being who we are. Everybody has respect for each other, and we don’t have to hide ourselves from anybody.”
D&I Program Manager, VMware, India “Last year, while co-leading efforts for Pride month celebrations in our office, I came across many articles that talked about how unfairly the community was treated. This affected me as I firmly believe that everyone should be respected equally and more specifically no one should be discriminated against because of who they choose to love! I then got the opportunity to attend the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Seattle later that year and the personal coming out stories shared by some of the colleagues I met were just so inspiring and brave! This just made me want to use my voice for their support and be an active Ally to educate others and myself (I’m still learning) about the community and do my bit towards making our workplaces more inclusive and to foster a safe environment where we can all be our selves without the fear of being judged.”
Joe Noonan, Mary Linehan, Eamonn Carroll, Philip Coffey & Claire Coleman wish every success to the
Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival
54 North Main St, Cork
. 021 4270518 . nlcc.ie
No Longer Invisible Written by Timara, Jessica, Olive and Sara Definition: “Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”. In January 2019, a small group of individuals came together to form a new organisation called Intersex Ireland. Intersex Ireland has been set up to support Intersex people and their families, educate wider society and advance the rights and equality of all Intersex individuals in Ireland. It’s believed 1.78% of the population have an intersex variation, and as a result, there are many variants that few people in Ireland consider. Intersex conditions, that someone isn’t typically male or female, can emerge at different life stages. Intersex variations can be evident at birth or perhaps can become evident in adolescence, as an individual’s body doesn’t develop as expected. It is not unusual for variations to become clearer in later life either. Traditionally, even before birth, parents want to know the gender of their child, whether it’s a boy or a girl. Friends and family consistently ask if the parents know the gender. When a child is born and there’s this ambiguity, doctors have often been quick to intervene in order to fit the child into the gender binary. This can result, later in life, people’s intimate lives being negatively impacted because of complications. There is a lack of knowledge and education in society on Intersex issues and few visible activists advocating for our rights. Here in Ireland, this has been also true, few activists, such as Gavan Coleman have been working in this area. Intersex Ireland has been set up to support Gavan’s work, support our community and advocate for our rights. Sara informs us that “There is so much work to do. Intersex people have been consistently marginalised. Our stories have been side lined and shared in hushed tones. Parents are told not to expose our variations; doctors often medically intervene and society consistently shame us for who we are. Human rights violations continue in Ireland today. We need it to stop”. Olive explains: “When Intersex Ireland was set-up, I found that support there is great. I can talk about these issues with other people who understand. 56
Because I can talk about things, I find it easier to deal with the challenges that my intersex condition presents. There is a lot of genuine care in the group. Intersex Ireland has helped to give me the courage to come out. Since I told my friends have been very supportive. I feel very lucky to be a member of Intersex Ireland”. Jessica’s story can be very similar to the story of other intersex people, “Intersex people are hidden and invisible, so at first, all we have are feelings. A feeling that something is not right, a feeling that something is different at a biological level. In my case, I did not “grow” up like other girls (or boys). I looked 13 years old when I was 18.” Jessica continues, “As a result, I was not conforming, which leads to bullying. I also know other people who were bullied in school, where children asked them to show their genitals. I know people who were abused by doctors, who presented an exposition of their genitals to medicine students”. Timara shares her own story: “People often ask what it was like? Like to be born intersex. And I reply, what’s like to be not intersex. I have nothing else to compare existence to. No reference but my own. But how has it affected you? Your life? I don’t know... I lie. For how can I not know...? The biggest impact being born intersex is a sense of loss... from the first moment of self-awareness, To now... I was born alone, unwanted, twin-less. My mother denied my condition, To herself, to my father, to the world. Consciously or subconsciously rejecting her baby’s difference,
Intersex Ireland Fortunately preserving our secret, Sparing medical disfigurement but at the expense... of the primary relationship. And Rejection. mother never got on with me. How could she be expected to? She knew not what she did... It was a different time then. But Rejection, that’s the story of me”. Sara explains her own background, “I found out much later in life. I didn’t realise I had been living with my own condition for my whole life. I knew something was different but I hadn’t been told. I could never accept my anatomy as it was. Through transition and the various medical tests and medical intervention that came with it, it all became clearer. It explained so much about my past, about my body. My hormone, chromosome and internal organs didn’t fit with typical male anatomy. But there is so much I will never know. There are no records, no one to ask. Who knows what my life might have been if I had of known?” Olive shares her story “I have extreme Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I found it an incredibly difficult syndrome in my teens and twenties. Think of one young girl you know that wants to be fat and hairy. I have very high androgens (male hormones) levels. As a result of the androgens, I had very bad facial hair. If I ate normally, I would be obese. As part of PCOS is being insulin resistant. So, I am on a food plan. For me regardless of what fertility treatments I have, I am infertile and can’t have children. I also sometimes have mood swings. All the above I felt I had to deal with no support from any official organisation.
I felt very alone. The only person I told was my partner”. Jessica continues “Then, you find out. It could mean 20, 30, or 40 years of pain. For me, it was a moment of being angry, sad, hateful. But also, a moment when everything “clicked” making everything clear and this sense is amazing. Finally, you start looking, looking after this mix of genetics, biology, and a sense of completeness that doctors have taken away from you. You find other people like you, other brothers, sisters, siblings that want to make the world better, that want younger people not suffering what you did. and your heart soars knowing that together we are stronger and that you are not alone anymore”. Sara adds: “So many of us struggle with not understanding. We do not know what is different. Nobody is willing to explain and so we go through life feeling alienated, outside and very different. Many of us struggle with medical problems as result from early life interventions or by untreated complications”. Timara sums it up, “Intersex Ireland is an invaluable resource which I hope will be accessible to every intersex person in Ireland, at every stage of their life. Available to Parents & families of intersex people, particularly those most vulnerable when they’re told their child is intersex & their only point of information is the hospital & the Doctors, who may or may not recommend corrective surgery in an attempt to “normalise” their baby. I hope Intersex Ireland will be there to offer help, reassurance, education”. Timara reiterates: “Nobody should have to endure a life of unwarranted, non-consensual medical interventions, & a life of secrecy & rejection through the ignorance of others. It is a different time now. I hope”. Intersex Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org
Intersex Ireland is an invaluable resource which I hope will be accessible to every intersex person in Ireland, at every stage of their life. 57
Find out more about how we can help at jigsaw.ie or call (021) 245 2500
Your Big Day, Our Little Details Clayton Hotel Cork City
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â€œOur three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.â€? MFK Fisher The Gastronomical Me (1943)
PROUD TO BE UNIQUE
Not for everyone!
The Legal Status of Same Sex Parents in Ireland Today
Introduction The Children and Family Relationship Act (CFRA) was passed into law over four years ago on the 6th April 2015. The passing of this piece of legislation was heralded as bringing family law into the 21st century by recognising and protecting diverse family forms, including same sex parents and their children. However, there is much confusion amongst same sex parents and those planning parenthood about who will be covered by the CFRA provisions and who will not. This has been exacerbated by the many media articles prematurely announcing the full commencement of the Act and by misleading reports that the law covers all same sex parents. The reality is more complex, particularly in relation to donor assisted human reproduction (DAHR), which is only partially covered by the CFRA. With additional legislation needed to cover DAHR services and situations not dealt with in the Act, including surrogacy. This article aims to set out what families and parenting pathways are covered by the CFRA and what families and pathways will not be covered by the law. It also looks at what can be done to advance rights and recognition for all LGBT+ families. How much of this law has been commenced? When the CFRA was passed in 2015 it was expected that the provisions relating to guardianship, custody and adoption would come into effect quickly, while provisions relating to assisted human reproduction (AHR) were not to come into effect for at least a year, to give people who were already undergoing AHR, time to complete their treatment. Guardianship and custody provisions did come into effect in January 2016, with Adoption provisions following in 2017. These provisions extended some rights to same sex parents, however there are limitations to these rights, particularly in relation to the length of time a person needs to be parenting, before being eligible to apply for guardianship or step parent adoption. The provisions relating to assisted human reproduction in Parts 2&3 of the Act, and Part 9 relating to the registration of female same sex parents on a birth certificate, are, to date, still to be commenced.
Who is covered by the CFRA?
Paula Fagan CEO of LGBT Ireland Paula has been working on LGBT rights and inclusion for many years. In her current role she has overseen the extension of the organisation and the services it provides. She was a founding board member of marriage equality and has publishes a number of seminal research reports into the experiences of LGBT people and their family members.
Full commencement of the CFRA will allow for certain same-sex parents to register with the Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages, as parents, and obtain a birth certificate which reflects this in a number of circumstances. In attempting to set out who is covered by the Act, the first step is to explain that there are different provisions relating to children conceived before the Act is commenced (pre-commencement), these provide for retrospective recognition. Children conceived after the Act is fully commenced (postcommencement) will be covered by the prospective provisions. Retrospective recognition will cover children conceived pre-commencement, provided they were conceived by : Using an anonymous sperm donor in clinic in Ireland OR Abroad or Using a traceable sperm donor in a clinic in Ireland OR Abroad (i.e. child has a right to trace the donor when they reach 18 years of age). The date of conception is the relevant point in time, so a pregnancy ongoing at time of commencement will not be affected and any children born as a result of that pregnancy will be covered by the retrospective provisions. It is also worth noting that Section 26(5) of the CFRA. allows clinics to use donor sperm acquired before the date of commencement in a DAHR procedure for a period of three years from the date of commencement regardless of the anonymous status of the donor. This is only where the intending parent is already the parent of a child born as a result of a DAHR procedure using sperm from the same donor but clearly allows families that wish to have genetic siblings to achieve that objective. A similar position arises with respect to embryos created prior to commencement regardless of the anonymous status of the donor(s) however there is a significant argument that the 3 year time limit will not apply to embryos. Recognition for children conceived post-commencement date, will apply to those conceived by : Using a traceable sperm donor in a clinic in Ireland ONLY. or Using a known donor in a clinic in Ireland ONLY (although it is not known how this process would work in practice, in theory the legislation does appear to allow for this scenario). This means that children conceived post-commencement in a clinic abroad or in a clinic using an anonymous donor will not be covered by the legislation. It is not clear why the CFRA 2015 does not recognise clinics abroad particularly when many of them could be in a position to satisfy the document requirements of the CFRA 2015. Going forward this is something that should be addressed in all future legislative developments.
Guardianship As mentioned above, guardianship provisions have been commenced under the CFRA 2015, which means a same sex co-parent can apply to the court for guardianship however they must show that on the date of the application they : are married to or in a civil partnership with, or have been for over 3 years a cohabitant of, a parent of the child, and have shared with that parent responsibility for the child’s day-to-day care for a period of more than 2 years. This two year rule is particularly difficult for same sex parents, as it leaves the non-birth parent with no legal relationship to their child until the child turns two years of age. This presents many problems for families, particularly in relation to giving medical consent and in acquiring legal documentation (e.g.) a passport. This is the situation for Elaine and Jenny, who had a baby girl in June 2018. Jenny, the non-birth mum is an American citizen, and would dearly love to bring her daughter to visit her extended family in the States. However, as her daughter is one year old, Jenny is unable to seek guardianship under the CFR Act 2015 as the child is less than two years old. Therefore, as the law currently stands, she has no legal relationship to her child and is unable to establish a legal relationship until her daughter is two years old. This is despite the fact that the couple are married and planned a family together, with the relevant donor consent in place. In contrast, if Elaine and Jenny were an opposite sex married couple, the non-birth parent (the father) is presumed to be the child’s parent (even if donor sperm is used) and automatically is the child’s legal guardian.
Adoption As outlined earlier in this article Adoption provisions under the CFRA 2015 and subsequent Adoption Amendment Act 2017, extended the right to apply to jointly adopt a child, to same-sex couples. However, in the case of second parent adoption (which is a mechanism contained in the Act to fast track an adoption for the partner of the birth parent) a similar two-year restriction applies. This again leaves the co-parent in a same sex couple with no legal relationship to their child for at least two years. In reality a further obstacle to using these adoption provisions, relates to the delay with other parts of the CFRA 2015, which deal with assigning legal parentage in the case where a couple conceive a child together using donor assisted human reproduction (DAHR). These parts of the CRFA provide for both parents in a same sex relationship to be legally recognised as parents. When these provisions are in place, the need to go through a second parent adoption would not apply, therefore the Adoption Authority, are encouraging parents to wait for these provisions to be commenced and are very reluctant to process applications for second parent adoption in these cases. While this is understandable, this again leaves same sex parents in a legal vacuum for now. What about those families not covered by the CFRA? Much work is being done by LGBT Ireland and the LGBTQ Families and Allies group (see LGBTQ Families and Allies Ireland on Facebook) to push for the commencement of all provisions in the CFRA 2015. The remaining provisions, Parts 2, 3 & 9 of the Act, will allow some LGBT parents to be legally recognised as co-parents of their children otherwise than through adoption. As the primary focus of Parts 2&3 are conceptions using donor sperm in a clinic in Ireland, in practical terms this is most likely to cover female couples, who are able to access fertility treatment in Ireland. However, not all parenting pathways used by same sex couples are covered by the Act. In particular this affects female couples who have, or are planning to use a known donor and who don’t need clinical intervention and male couples who have, or are planning to conceive through surrogacy. To highlight some of the gaps in the CFRA and what the problems that the long delay in introducing legislation means for families, is highlighted in Tom and Eamonn’s situation below:
a rare disorder which will mean he will need care AFTER his other dad’s guardianship ends when he’s 18.” For Tom and Eamonn, and parents like them, the lack of legal recognition of their family is of constant concern. On the horizon however, is a Bill (The General Scheme for Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017) which could bring about a legal framework to recognise these families. This draft legislation, which includes provisions in relation to surrogacy, is at a very early stage in its development and needs to be broadened if it is to reflect the reality of AHR being undertaken by both opposite sex and same sex couples today. In particular the Bill does not, as yet, include any provisions in relation to recognising international surrogacy arrangements. We, in LGBT Ireland, are campaigning to have the AHR Bill extended to ensure that its provisions extend protections to the existing LGBT-headed families who are living in a legal vacuum.
Conclusion All legal advancements in this area need to be based on protecting the best interests of the child. In this regard we believe the best interests of the child are met through laws that recognise the reality of life for the child and that ensure that the child can be fully cared for by the adults whom he or she regards as parents. For children raised in LGBT-headed families, this means that the children should have the opportunity of acquiring a legal relationship with both intended parents and those parents should have all of the legal tools necessary to care for the child. We will continue to campaign to ensure that existing and future legislation recognises and protects same sex parents and their children. However, political will is needed to ensure that these complex pieces of law are progressed without further delay. Therefore, this needs to be brought to politicians’ attention, every chance we get. As an election looms large in the political consciousness, let’s make sure that equality for LGBT+ families is at the top of their minds!!
For more information about our work in this area go to www.lgbt.ie/get-information/parenting.com
We will continue to campaign to ensure that existing and future legislation recognises and protects same sex parents and their children.
Tom and Eamonn, have two children, which they conceived using a surrogate mother in the UK. Tom is the legal parent of the children. The woman who was the surrogate for the couple is in regular contact with the family and is happy to consent to Eamonn being recognised the children’s legal parent. Following commencement of step parent adoption in 2017, the couple have considered pursuing adoption as a way of establishing Eamonn as a legal parent, however TUSLA have advised that this process isn’t possible as surrogacy is not yet recognised in Irish law. One of the children has significant health issues and needs regular medical attention, and while Eamonn does have guardianship of both children this does not recognise his parental relationship to them, which has huge implications for the family, as Tom explains “I have a little boy with 71
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The HIV-positive individual takes antiretroviral therapy consistently and as prescribed and is regularly followed by his/her doctor. Viral load is ‘undetectable’ and has been so for at least six months.
Do U know what it means? Are U in on the conversation? U=U stands for “Undetectable equals Un-transmittable”. In short, it means a person who is living with HIV and on effective treatment cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partner. Oh yes, you read that right: A person who is living with HIV and on effective treatment cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partner. “Undetectable” refers to the way in which someone’s viral load (the amount of HIV circulating in their blood) is measured by doctors. When treatment suppresses HIV to a very low level, it gets too low for the standard tests to pick up in blood samples. In other words, the virus cannot be detected. “Untransmittable” means that when the amount of HIV reaches a certain low level in your blood, it’s also low in other bodily fluids (like semen, anal or vaginal fluids). These levels get so low that the virus cannot be transmitted sexually. The idea of U=U is ground-breaking. What this means is that a person living with HIV can now live a long, healthy life without having to worry about passing on HIV to others. This also has many other positives in day to day life including: dismantling HIV stigma on a community, clinical and personal level, encouraging people living with HIV to start and continue treatment (which keeps them and their partners health), strengthening advocacy for universal access to treatment, care and diagnostics for everyone and allowing people living with HIV to conceive without having to resort to alternative, often complicated means of insemination. U=U is a simple, but enormous development based on a solid foundation of scientific evidence that has transformed the lives of people living with HIV. A number of major studies took place worldwide for the purpose of looking at undetectable viral loads and the sexual transmission of HIV. In 2008 the Swiss National AIDS Commission released what’s become known as the “Swiss Statement”, one of the first studies on U=U. The Swiss Statement stated that ‘people with HIV are not sexually infectious as long as the following conditions are met:
The HIV-positive individual does not have any STIs In the study ‘HPTN 052’ there were ‘ZERO transmissions between 1,763 mixed-status couples when the HIV positive partners were on ART (AntiRetroviral Therapy) with undetectable viral loads.’ In the study ‘PARTNER 2’, which was the extension of the study ‘PARTNER’ and studied men who have sex with men, ‘there were ZERO transmissions out of 77,000 condomless sex acts between people with HIV on ART with undetectable viral loads and their HIV negative partners.’ For the last 30 years, condoms have been promoted as the main form of protection from HIV, so to hear that U=U is as effective as using a condom can understandably be scary for people to accept. For a lot of people, the thought of not using a condom takes some getting used to. It’s scary, not only for the HIV negative person, but also for the person living with HIV who fears transmitting the disease. We are not necessarily advocating for you to remove condoms from your sexual health practice. Condoms are still a great tool to prevent unintended pregnancy or other STI’s from being transmitted during sex.
undetectable = untransmittablE
Your partner may also feel an added level of security regardless of their HIV status (positive or negative). Instead, what we are pushing for is the widespread use of information that can help alleviate stress and stigma when it comes to the conversation surrounding sex and HIV. The evidence is there; a person who is living with HIV and on effective treatment cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partner, however the fear and stigma still exists, and this is the next step we need to take to ending HIV. This message needs to be spread in conversations with friends, in sexual health clinics, hospitals, bars, nightclubs, dating apps, etc. The more we talk about this, the more it will eliminate the fear and stigma that surround HIV. It will also result in more people becoming aware of their HIV status through regular testing - if more people are aware of their HIV status the risk of transmitting the disease is constantly reduced, which eventually will lead to the eradication of HIV. This is not something that just ActUP Cork is proposing., this is also the widespread message of The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The LGBTQ+ community have always been the first to lead the way before the health officials - our community pushed the message of condom usage to prevent HIV/AIDS before the government did. So once again, our community needs to come together and spread the message of U=U loud and clear. We are the ones responsible to push the health authorities and government officials to promote this message. Everyone deserves to know that U=U! Get tested. Know your status. End the stigma.
Get tested. Know your status.
- ActUp Cork
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queer narratives within the visual arts Stephen Doyle is a graduate of C.I.T Crawford College of Art and Design (2017). Since leaving he has been exhibiting his work on a national and international platform. His work is attempting to establish a queer narrative within the visual arts, often through figurative painting and instillation. He is credited with having the first piece to openly discuss transgender identity on the walls of the National Gallery of Ireland with the shortlisted piece, ‘Dylan is ainm dom...’. He has also the recipient of two international art awards, the ‘Ashurst Emerging Art Prize’ and the ‘Sunny Art Prize’ resulting in two solo exhibitions in London.
In February he had his first solo exhibition in Dublin with SO Fine Art Editions, titled ‘Post-Binary’. A discussion of binary gender norms and its restrictive nature. The striking feature that the artist’s paintings have in common is the extensive representation of fabric and textile material wrapped around the androgynous naked bodies in the highly geometrical compositions. For the artist, the use of fabric is seen as an extension of self-expression. Its use in daily life is often perceived and understood as a reflection of one’s truer persona. Metaphorically speaking, the patterns individuals identify with during their daily lives are commonly used as a tool to ‘decipher’ the identity of the other, of the individuals and the communities that live around us. As our daily lives are dictated by patterns of categorisation, the human mind therefore never fails to compartmentalise and categorise individuals when it comes to gender, and it does so through patterns that are perceived as primarily feminine or masculine. The irresistible force to separate and clearly define identity drives the mind to trap itself in an endless illusionary cycle of perceived order and stability of categories. The paintings shown in the exhibition try to break such cycle and interrupt the illusion which surrounds perceptions of clearly defined gender identities. Stephen manipulates patterns usually associated with either the feminine or the masculine, interweaving them together in his compositions. In particular, floral designs and bright colours, which are traditionally associated with the feminine, entwine with geometric patterns and dark colours, which are usually considered more masculine in previous western traditions of figurative painting as well as art and design. At the same time, the merging variety of patterns and colours surrounding the figures are meant to deconstruct their perceived fixed identity so to render them ‘neutral’, namely non-binary. By doing so the figures’ identity is subject to the viewer’s ideology, allowing us to readdress preconceptions of gender. Furthermore, he was listed as one of the ‘Top 50 People to Watch’ by the Irish Times for 2019. And if all that wasn’t enough, he has recently completed a residency in Shanghai, China with the Harmony Art Gallery. The pieces which secured his placement were two figurative paintings discussing ‘Ball Culture’ with Chamber’s very own Dakota Mode and Liam Bee, titled ‘Performing the Feminine I/II’. Certainly one to keep an eye on. If you’d like to see what the artist is doing next, you can follow him @stephendoyleart on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.
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decks in the city By Jules Walsh
Ten years ago my world as I knew it fell apart. The community as I had known it for all of my “out” and “not so out” life, was crumbling. The Other Place which had once been my regular haunt to party with my LGBT* peers had closed it’s nightclub doors. Taboo a place I regularly crowed along to karaoke songs, under the mist of a leaky upstairs toilet, had just vanished, and my heart and soul, my first job in the big gay world “INSTINCT” had just gone into receivership. I felt lost. We still had LOAFERS of Douglas St., the hub, the longest standing, mightiest little LGBT bar in Ireland but my home where I had gone from cash desk/cloakroom girl to resident DJ and events, was closing its doors. Instinct was like walking into the funkiest living room gathering where you just knew everyone and even though it was unashamedly a dirty mess at times, you just loved it! Under ownership of Tom Scriven and The Rebel Bar Group, Lisa Byrne was the lady of the house made all feel welcome, even me, a shy meek little 18 year old looking for work. It’s thanks to Lisa and my wonderful partner, bar supervisor at the time, Jenna Mehigan-Collins and other close friends who saw something in me and pushed me to break out of my comfort zone, into the DJ box and encouraged me at every obstacle. It wasn’t long before- somehow, I became a sought after DJ on the LGBT scene, but with offers of more money and higher profile gigs, I could never leave my home as my gratitude to my family was so strong and I was so proud to be part of it. One of the places that had approached me was Chambers and the lovely Dermot Hickey and Ger Hennessy! They hadn’t long opened their doors and were starting an LGBT night on a Wednesday and asked me if I would join them to spin some tunes. I was flattered of course and initially had Instincts blessing as, I didn’t work on Wednesday nights, but after more thought, they asked me to stay put! 82
The job went to one of cork’s best DJ Dave Daly and so, SINNERS was born! Sadly Instinct as we knew it, closed its doors for the last time in 2008. Margaret Montgomery saw a need for a full time LGBT bar and the potential Chambers had to provide that. Dermot made the call to myself and Jenna and after much deliberation we took the opportunity to join Ger Der and star Bar Manager Roisin O Sullivan. In its early years Chambers was fantastic and I was home again. Like everywhere, chambers has had our it’s and downs. With the changing times, the community feel faded, the regulars dispersed to other venues and it was a very, very sad time for me and I’m sure a frustrating time for so many regulars. In 2015 Giles Reid began to work at a marketing capacity for the Reardens group and worked tirelessly to inject the LGBT spirit back into the building. Work became fun again, people started to come back and I can never thank him and previous Manager Robin Smiles for caring. Veteran gay Michael O’ Sullivan also played a huge part in bringing back shows like “Funk n Something” with stalwarts Fabula Di Beau Marchais and Kitty Cartier to the stage. When it was time for Giles to move on. I was at a crossroads in my own life. I was at war with myself. Where was the satisfaction and where did I ultimately belong in the community? I was waitressing in Perry St. at the time, under the wonderful Brian Drinan and Paul Coffey. Truthfully I was suffering badly from depression and anxiety and harmful thoughts, and daily the question that swam in my head was; am I “just” a waitress, am I “just” a DJ or could I offer more, can I do more for the venue and for me. In September 2017 I put myself out there, I asked to take Giles’ place, took a deep breath and I stepped on to the marketing floor of Reardens. Under the watchful eye of the talented Anna Lapot, I learned how to market and graphic design and grew stronger and more confident as a woman in a business predominantly run by men.
She taught me to speak up and with conviction and confidence for what I wanted.
My handsome work husband and right-hand man, the extremely talented Bar supervisor Fernando Diaz, has added his European flare. He has taught me a lot about running a bar and together we are making strides to turning Chambers back into the place people from all walks of life want to go to. She taught me to speak up and with conviction and confidence for what I wanted, and I am so glad that I listened and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. In that moment, sitting at my desk on my first day I made a promise to myself that I would work as hard as I could until I one day ran Chambers, or ran a bar of my own. Fast forward to 2019 and my dreams have literally come true. After campaigning with YES EQUALITY I am engaged to a beautiful woman who supports my workaholic ways and after overcoming suffocating anxiety with the help of counsellor Ann Jackson, I can now very proudly, confidently and emotionally call myself the General Manager of Chambers of Washington St! However, the pride does not end there. I now have a wonderful team of queer bar tenders (and a couple of straight allies!). The mix is just right and each one of them is as passionate as I am about bringing the unwavering label of an LGBT* venue back to a bar that for some time, was lost to us.
With all of that, I am very excited to say that with the combined love and passion for Chambers of myself, the staff, Susan Roche and owner Margaret Montgomery; we are closing our doors in early 2020 for major renovations. When Margaret became sole owner of the Reardens group earlier this year, she came straight to me and said, “Chambers is my priority and the message is RESPECT”. We hope you will love what we have done when we open back up in September to a bar that pays homage to all of the greats that came before and that you the community and us at Chambers will be very proud of.
From all of us, have a happy and safe pride. Love always, Jules
fiannafailparty fiannafail www.fiannafail.ie
Marginalisation & Exclusion from the Church ;
Looking for the Christlike Response As a child of the sixties, religion was already a hugely important part of my life; starting at barely nine-years of age when I joined the altar servers at the Church of the Assumption in Ballyfermot. One of the great joys for me during my years as an altar server was wearing my black sutan with the white surplice and black runners. I was fully enthralled by the various rites and ceremonies and the incense during benediction and funerals. So committed was I to my role as altar server that not even my terrible fear of walking down the dark streets of Ballyfermot at 6.30 on winter mornings could deter me from getting to seven o’clock Mass. So serious was I about my religion at this tender age I even took it home with me. I would offer up the Mass in my bedroom with my siblings acting as altar servers. At other times I reenacted the crucifixion, again with the help of my siblings (I kid you not!). So, over the course of my life, religion, and more especially faith and spirituality were to be a huge part of my life; indeed, they remain central to my life and have helped to shape me into the woman I am today. I was utterly committed to the pursuit of faith and spirituality and how this could better me as a person and how through them help me make a positive difference to the lives of others, my raison d’ȇtre if you will. And all of this was experienced as a young girl growing up in the wrong body. They ran parallel to each other and merged at different points along the way and have brought me eventually to where I am today. It was also at the age of about nine that I felt my calling to the ministry, assuming of course at that time it would be the priesthood. Such was my commitment to the church as a teenager, and being still convinced of my calling, I applied to train for the priesthood at Clonliffe College. I was just 18 years of age at the time. My application was accepted, and I was to study at the local VEC for two years before entering Clonliffe. This was because I left school at eleven years of age and having not finished primary or secondary education. If this is what was needed to enter Clonliffe College then I was prepared to do it, not knowing of course the hand I was about to be dealt by fate. I was given a Bible for my eighteenth birthday by one of my friends. Reading the Bible was to have a profound effect on my thinking and eventually led to my decision to resign from the Catholic Church in 1980. There was a short period over which I tried atheism and militant politics, but we never really got on with it each other. I began my spiritual search once again and in 1983 I became an Evangelical Christian and remained so until my decision to do something about my Gender Identity, which I did in 2001. From the time of my becoming an Evangelical Christian to the time of my being diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, I was a fully committed member of the churches I belonged to. 86
My calling to the ministry was recognised by many at the time and I had been accepted into several Theological Colleges to train for Pastoral Ministry, but I was unable to attend due to personal circumstances at the time. However, this did not prevent me from taking on the numerous roles normally associated with the role of pastor within the church. This was also widely recognised at the time. This involved preaching, leading Bible studies, evangelism, Sunday School teaching, visitation etc. I even had a book published about evangelism! It is fair to say that belonging to the church was part of a lifelong commitment for me and one I never thought I would be excluded from. But excluded I was, as soon as I spoke to my Pastor who wanted nothing to do with me after I informed him of my struggles with my gender identity and my decision to seek professional help with it. Because of this I never attended another church until May of 2016. It is hard to describe the devastation I felt over the intervening years. I was entirely cut off from my faith community and left in complete isolation. No one from the church, and I do mean no one, kept in touch or checked in to see how I was doing. This was during a time when I’d just survived several suicide attempts, which some members (former friends) of the congregation were aware of. I had been alone in my life before, but never like this, and never when I was in such great need of the support of my faith community. Throughout the entire transitioning period, which I finally completed in 2015, and the long recovery period, I had no church to belong to and no spiritual or pastoral support of any kind, and it took its toll. This led to feelings of extreme isolation, disconnection, loss and distress, disillusionment. The message could not have been clearer, it was that I was not acceptable to the church and that my faith was not valid, as though I were somehow spiritually and morally inferior to other believers and therefore unacceptable to God. Being excluded from my faith community was to be robbed of a huge part of my life and of myself. There is no doubt that this exclusion has caused me deep personal hurt and negatively impacted my faith and my relationship with God; after all, God and the church are seen as being synonymous, which means we can’t have the one with the other. Being excluded from my calling has been especially hard to bear and has caused me deep personal grief. As a result of all this I haven’t opened my Bible for many years, until very recently. When I did open it, it was to certain passages from the Old and New Testaments that spoke to my situation, and I swore that if ever I got the chance to speak to Christians again I would use these passages to explain what the appropriate response should be from all churches, and other faith groups for that matter.
The passages I am referring to are Psalm 139:13-16 and John 9:1-7. I remember committing these to God’s care in the hope that if one day I were to speak in church again I would do so from these passages and in so doing know that my call to ministry has returned to me. This really was a long shot and seemed completely unlikely, but this is precisely what happened recently. I discovered the Cork Unitarian Church in 2016 and have been attending it since then. It is a genuinely open church for the LGBT Community, and I am proud to be a member. I am aware that my experience of marginalisation and exclusion from the Church and other faith groups is not unique and the sense of loss is shared by many. There are many within the LGBT community, here in Ireland and across the world who can testify to the painful effects this kind of marginalisation and exclusion from their faith communities (spiritual families) has had on their lives. I experienced this in a very acute way when I spoke at the recent IDAHOT service held in St. Anne’s Church Shandon. The reaction from those present, especially within the LGBT community was extremely touching and confirmed that I was not alone in my experience and that this sense of loss and hurt is still felt by many in the present time. What we find especially difficult is being made to feel that we are somehow less spiritual, less moral and less committed to our faith than others. The reality could not be more different. The fact is that people within the LGBT Community are just as moral, and just as interested and committed to their search for faith and spirituality and to practice their religion in the same way as those within the wider community. All we want is to be afforded the same right to meet and worship on equal terms as those with whom we are in communion. The facts also point to the religious diversity that exists within the LGBT Community, e.g. ranging from those with liberal religious views to those who are more conservative and traditional, along with those who are adherents of a wide variety of faith groups, to none. What we have in common is our shared experiences of marginalisation and exclusion, and to not having our specific spiritual and pastoral needs met. The simple truth is that these problems are far more common amongst the LGBT community than the churches might be aware. However, all is not lost, there are signs of change taking place, albeit very slowly. I am referring here to the work being done at St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Shandon and the proactive support of the Bishop of Cork, Paul Colton, who recently received ‘Allies for Inclusion Awards’ from the LGBTI+ Inter-Agency Group. Special mention should go to Sarah Marry, Curate in Charge at St. Anne’s for her support for the LGBT Community and her warm welcome to the recent IDAHOT service. Mention should also be made of the Cork Unitarian Church, Princes Street and our minister the Rev. Michael O’Sullivan who is a huge supporter of LGBT events throughout the year. Our church who will be participating in our third consecutive Pride Parade. Our sister church in Dublin are also expected to be taking part again this year.
My engagement with both churches on the issues of marginalisation and exclusion from the various church denominations is proving to be a positive experience and I believe the efforts from both are very genuine and should be encouraged and supported in every way possible. Some initiatives have already taken place in recent times with more to follow. This should include a more open and expansive dialogue between the respective churches and the LGBT Community. It is a cause of great sadness that the churches generally are still living in the past and not engaging with this vitally important issue in a more constructive, compassionate, and frankly more Christlike way. The pain being experienced by the LGBT Community is very real. The Church overall is much the poorer for this marginalisation and exclusion. By not seeing past the stereotypical outdated perceptions and attitudes of old, the Church and other faith groups rob themselves of a wonderfully vibrant and committed section of society who can bring limitless potential for their continual growth and future development. But as it has been demonstrated above, there is hope for change and I encourage the various faith groups and the LGBT Community to work together in open dialogue to see how the needs of the Community can be met in the future. By Sarah-Jane Cromwell
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Remembering Ted O’Connell Written by Friends and Family On August 25th 2018, the Cork LGBT + community lost a true legend, Ted O’Connell. Ted was a member of the Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival Committee for many years. He was also the most recent proprietor of Loafers bar, which until its closing in May 2015 was Ireland’s oldest gay bar. He was also a founding member of the Fine Gael LGBT committee. Ted loved his singing and was also member of Choral Confusion Choir which he enjoyed immensely. Ted was larger than life character who loved life, his family and his friends. Ted was, as he would say a late bloomer and only came out when he was 40 often mentioning the mantra ‘Life begins at 40’ and it certainly did for him. He made the most of the 20 years he had before his passing and worked hard for the LGBT community in Cork making some great friends and acquaintances throughout the years. Ted brought the community closer together through his work in Loafers where he created a warm and welcoming atmosphere for everybody within the LGBT+ community in Cork. Ted loved Karaoke and often kept everybody entertained on many a Friday night in Loafers with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” Now approaching the 1st Anniversary of his passing we have asked some of his family and close friends to say a few words and share some of their memories in tribute to him. Joe: Ted’s Husband On August 25th 2018, the Cork LGBT + community lost Ted and I first met on the Cork Pride 2010 Committee, from there he would ask me to do poster designs for Loafer’s. In my eyes Ted was a tough customer, but later found out that he had a crush on me, so this was the reason for 20 meetings about font size and just the right colors and wording and late night phone calls. I was very much unaware of his affection from afar until years later on one raining night back in Loafer’s where I had no money for a taxi home and to my delight Ted asked me to stay over. We continued to meet up in chambers for a few months, as I would be keeping my eye on the door for him and to the Loafer’s customers dislike Ted would close up early to come meet me, until I demanded a proper date! I chose a night where I had to be home in Boyle the next day so it would not be a late night. We met for dinner in Kethner’s Restaurant, and that night Ted’s friend Dan happened to be working so there was no hope for an early night… I woke up in the morning to 86 missed calls from my family and had missed my bus home, so Ted (as always, the kind and loving man) drove me to Limerick to catch a connecting bus and earned the nickname ‘SuperTed!’ Throughout the years we shared so many happy memories, from a special trip to Mizen head (the home of Ted’s soul), playing poker with my family, late night games of pool listening to Leonard Cohen in Loafer’s, car trips around the country listening to Lyric FM while doing the crossword, hosting dinner parties and board games nights for our friends with the mandatory G&Ts, to finding our own special hidden beach in Sitges. Ted was well known to many for his connection with Loafer’s bar. Over the past few months I’ve received so many messages of condolences, some from people I’ve never even met before, and every message mentioned how much of a Gentleman Ted was, how he always had time for people, and he was always on hand to help someone out if needed. One of Ted’s mottos was ‘Why can’t everyone just get along’, and he tried to instill this into Loafer’s creating a space where anyone, no matter your background or situation could feel safe and respected! At the end of the day it did not matter to Ted if the bar took in €100 or €1000 on a night, but instead he was happy when the people who came into the bar were able to let their hair down and be themselves. Over the years, I’ve heard stories from customers on how Ted had been there for them, from being a listening ear, to offering a place to spend the night, stories from people visiting Loafer’s for their first Pride, first date, or first time they could be ‘out’ in public, and in each one the focal point is of Ted’s open and caring attitude.
Loafer’s and Ted definitely changed people’s lives in one way or another, he was devoted to making this would a better place whether via the bar or his work with Fine Gael but when Loafer’s closed its doors in 2015, Ted was truly heartbroken! Ted and I married in September of 2017, and although our love was short it was very much a matter of quality rather than quantity. Nothing in this world can give me what we had, and nothing or no-one will ever replace him or fill this hole in my heart and soul that he has left behind. Ted, my love and life, Rest In Peace and watch over all of us. Thank you for everything xXx Robyn O’Connell Falvey ( Ted’s Daughter) In August 2018, Cork lost a gentleman, a larger than life figure in Ted O Connell, my dad. He was very well known in the community with his involvement with Fine Gael and for his long reign as patron of Loafers, Ireland’s oldest Gay bar. Which sadly closed its doors in 2015. To quote Ted himself “To say the least I am devastated” and he was. Dad always wanted to provide a safe haven for the LGBTQ community and their friends to socialize. Ted was a loving father, adoring grandfather and devoted husband to my stepdad Joe. Our relationship was very special to us both. He taught me to always believe in myself and that I was always loved. For that I will always be grateful. He was my dad and my best friend and he will always hold my heart.
Megan Deeney O’Connell ( Ted’s Daughter) My Father, Ted O’Connell, was a very important person to a lot of special and unique people. He was a dedicated partner to his wonderful and much loved husband Joe. To my sister Robyn and me, he was a kind and caring father, an energetic and playful Grandfather to both his beautiful and beloved Granddaughters. He was a wonderful father-in-law to his amazing and courageous daughter-in-law Nicola. He was a dear and cherished Brother and Son to the O’Connell Clan. A true friend and esteemed confidant to many in the LGBTQ community; an entrepreneur who battled to save Ireland’s oldest and most established LGBTQ Public house, Loafers and a gentleman who always had a kind word for everyone. His shining bright light is sorely missed from this world but never forgotten. So please on this Pride weekend, Raise a glass and sing out proudly in memory of our beloved friend and family, Ted O’Connell. Marcus McCann ( Friend ) Since the first day Ted came to work in Loafers everyone took an instant like to him. He had a nice personality and a nice manner about him. Canvassing, an election, the election count, game of golf, or the Irish Times Crossword …Ted was never far away from any of these. He was very hard working putting lots of effort and time into Loafers and Pride, where he served on the committee for a number of years. In Loafers, he really enjoyed the Poker Classic on Monday Nights and of course the highlight of the week was the Bingo these were his favorite nights ….then off to Chambers and maybe back to Loafers for a lock in! He was kind to everyone ...and I’ll never forget his kindness and all his help to me personally, when I needed it most. His life was all too short he had so much more to give. I’m thankful to him for everything and for being part of his ‘Loafers family’. He was very proud of his family, very proud of his beloved husband Joe and he loved the trips to Boyle in Roscommon. Ted is sadly missed by everyone, gone way before his time, but we are thankful to him for all the wonderful memories he left us with. Davey Walsh ( Friend) Anyone who knew Ted Knows he was an absolute Gent, and nobody would disagree. To me Ted was not only a best friend but a mentor always pushing and encouraging myself and those he cared about to live up to their potential. Sometimes a potential only he saw in people. Always up for laugh, he was a true Rebel saying “No Sport, No Religion, No Politics should be talked about in a bar”. These just so happened to Teds favorite topics to talk passionately about with a bit of Leonard Cohen or The Bee Gees thrown in the mix. Whether it was a few late ones at the bar over a game of pool with the jukebox, on the campaign trail, organizing LGBT+ event or out touring the local restaurants and bars I’m sure his husband, family, and friends and all that knew him would agree he did it “His Way”. He will be forever missed and always loved.
Dan Ryan ( Friend ) Ted O’Connell, what a man! I have had some memorable times with Ted. He was a larger than life character. We had many enjoyable nights in Loafers and Teds discussing politics. What a staunch, Blue shirt, Fine Gael Man. In February 2017, Ted drove Jerry Buttimer to Ballycastle canvassing for a SDLP candidate, I was also on this trip, we had a fab day. On the way home Ted took a wrong turn and we ended up in Bushmills, I was delighted as I had never been there before, I love my whiskey, so Jerry took a picture of me outside Bushmills distillery. We had some great times canvassing & leaflet dropping, always a bit of sport & craic on the way. Also, I must mention all the Ard Fheis & Presidential Dinners for Fine Gael in Dublin and marching under the Fine Gael Banner at Gay Pride in Dublin. He loved his politics. Ted I will never forget you. Daniel O’Sullivan & Neil Carter ( Friends ) I remember my first ever Cork pride, I had only moved back from London and remember coming to Loafers, prior to the parade and explained how nervous I was about going to the pride parade as I was not out yet, and your encouragement to me to go is something I will never forget. You convinced me to go and so I did and you stuck by me that day and ensured I was ok. The following year I was on the loafers float with you all proud as punch, and ever since we attended each year. If it wasn’t for your encouragement that day I would not have attended but that day, seeing everybody at the parade also helped me to gain the courage to come out to my family and friends and I will be forever grateful for this. I used to love the after party in Loafers until the very early hours, even into the next day sometimes. You made Neil feel welcome from the start and he has many good memories and he always looked forward to his visits to Cork because of this. Ted, Cork pride will not be the same without you this year, both Neil and myself miss you so much, but we will always hold these memories close to our hearts, and will cherish them forever. Jerry Buttimer ( Friend ) Friendship in life is something we cherish. To be fortunate to have Ted o Connell as a friend was a gift, one that we especially hold dear as our friend has left us so quickly. Ted was always there community focused. He sought so much to create and succeeded in making loafers a safe space, a harbor for so many. As one of the founding members of Fine Gael LGBT he was committed to making Ireland a more equal society and every day he strove with determination to bring change. Ted to me was the advice man, the sounding board, the calm counsel, the source of political & other news, the party man, person of good humour, great company but above all the family man and husband. That he is no longer here is hard to fathom. Often I think of Ted or go to the phone to say what do you think? Or did you hear? Ted O’ Connell to me was a friend, a confidant, a trail blazer and just one wonderful person
hroughout the years Ted became my best friend. I have so many fond memories of Ted from our time working together in Taboo and Loafers, his hilarious performances as Anne Doyle and Mary from the tourist office in the many plays we took part in at the Other Place. He had an amazing sense of humour. Everybody who has ever met Ted, all agree that he was a true gentleman with a larger than life personality. The one thing I admired most about Ted was his resilience, he never let anything keep him down, no matter what was thrown at him he would just dust himself off move on. Ted was an amazing confidant and a great listener and was always there when you needed somebody to talk to and was always willing to help where he could.At the time of his passing many people used the word legend to describe Ted and he truly was a legend, whether it was his bars which became safe havens for many people or his work with Cork Pride and Fine Gael LGBT, he certainly left his mark. I will always remember Ted and cherish the many memories of have of him. Memories are links in the golden chain which bind us Until we meet again JP xxx John Buttimer ( Friend ) What was it about Ted that made it seem like you knew him all your life even though you might have only been introduced to him five minutes earlier? I was blessed to have known Ted for many years from different facets of his life. For me, I think it was that Ted was honest, genuine, interested and loved people and life. Everyone and everything that Ted encountered held the opportunity and promise of something new. Those possibilities excited Ted and he thrived on them. Ted was a complex person with a busy life – he was a husband, a father, a business-man, a community advocate and at the same time Ted had a simple philosophy of equality and fairness. He skilfully weaved all these strands together and was always true to himself. He fundamentally believed that everyone should be capable of getting on with each other. Ted was passionate about life and hated when things did not always add up. You knew you were in for a night of intense debate when Ted started a conversation with “Now John …” or “John, I was thinking …” or “John, can you explain …”. Invariably these were during the course of a lock-in at Ted’s or Loafers but timing wasn’t important to Ted. The debate, the conversation, the engagement was what really mattered. He might not always have agreed with you and would argue and debate with the best but at the end of the day he respected and valued you for being who you were. The only thing that Ted never really got his head around was the fact that nine times out of ten I would ask for a Barry’s Tea during the lock-in but he always had the kettle boiled, the saucer for the cup and milk in a jug. Ted had old world values but lived them in the most modern way possible.
John Lombardi ( Friend ) Someone once told me that a true friend is someone you will laugh with, someone you will cry with, someone that will never judge you and if you’re ever in trouble they will drop what they’re doing and come to your aid; this to me describes Ted. I met Ted over 13 years ago when I first came out and we instantly clicked, he was bar manager at the time of Taboo and he used to roll his eyes every time he saw me walking in to the bar but was the first person to invite me to a house party and or a “lock in” and took me under his wings and made my coming out experience a lot easier... the poor boy even had to put up with my strops every now and then! Every pride, every Christmas, every new year and birthday I always rang them in with Ted, he was the most amazing person that I knew he worked so hard for the LGBTQ community. I have so many memory and I have being so lucky to have met and being able to call him one of my truly best friends who I miss every single day love you always Ted. JP McCarthy ( Friend ) I first met Ted when I moved to Cork in back in 2001 and from the get go his warm and welcoming personality was infectious. We worked together in Taboo bar where we had so many laughs.
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active out: a spotlight on sport in cork
Frontrunners Cork By Michael O Donnell “As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are”- Joan Benoit Samuelson I must say that when I first began running I didn’t agree with Ms. Samuelson’s elegant words written above. When I was first tasked with forming the local queer running club, not long into my time in this role, I was more than a little nervous - not least because I had never run before. Moreover, like many queer young people, sports had never seemed like a real option for me growing up in the early 90’s and early 00’s in Ireland. Dressing room culture, and the particular kind of ‘macho’ masculinity that were idealized within other sports/clubs made the idea of being a gay athlete seem more than daunting and, for me, impossible. Fast forward to 2019 and we now know that I wasn’t alone in that. Many communities that fall under the LGBT+ umbrella are underrepresented in sporting participation and physical activity generally with a result of poorer health outcomes within these communities. However, my learning from the experience of working with the second LGBT+ running club in Ireland and the Cork branch of the Frontrunners International movement has turned my understanding of sports as I once knew them on their head. Frontrunners Cork (CFR) is an LGBT running club developed by the Gay Project in Cork to provide members with a space where they can participate in sports and physical activity in a group of their peers. The club has very few barriers to entry with no cost for attendance and provides members with the opportunity to get fitter and healthier, make new friends and socialize in a setting other than the pub. Of well over 30 people who present with a variety of running experience ranging from those with none at all to those who had run significant distances before joining. To date CFR has completed two Couch to 5K programs and one 5 -10K program with the support of a personal trainer Sheldon Kirkwood who has done an amazing job of supporting the club. CFR have participated in a number of races including Ballincollig Parkrun, Togher Mental Health 5K, Rosscarberry Surf, Turf n Tar and the recent Cork City Marathon in which the club had three relay teams and three half marathon runners. CFR have now got their own kits and even elected their own club committee who are organising the club’s first Rainbow Run on July 27th in Ballincollig in addition to the latest Couch to 5K program for new members beginning on 10th of June. However, perhaps the most important of the club’s successes are not the sporting achievements of the members per se but rather the more intangible experiences such as inclusion in an arena which may have previously been closed; the supportive friendships and bonds formed from partaking in a run with a group of peers; the laughter shared over cups of coffee after training session; the sense of unity from sharing a kit and purpose; the opportunities to derive strength from running shoulder to shoulder and support from the freedom to be out and proud of who we are. The sense of belonging and sheer of joy of taking part expressed by members is enough for me to learn that I couldn’t have been more wrong about Samuelson’s words. For Frontrunners, running is about more than just running it’s about who we are.
The Gay Hillwalkers By John Buttimer and Don Crowley There are magnificent hills, mountains and walkways ready for exploring in Cork, Kerry, Waterford and beyond – all you need to know is where they are, what route to take and to have good company on the journey. With that in mind, The Cork Gay Social Hill Walking Club was re-established earlier this year by Don and John with the support of The Gay Project. The Group is for people within the community who have an interest in hiking and hill walking and who would like to share that interest and experience with others. It also provides opportunities to meet new people, develop new friendships, take on challenges and to get some good exercise along the way. The Club is facilitated by members who are volunteers and who have some prior experience of hiking and hillwalking. While the club is not lead by trained Walk Leaders the emphasis on the walks is on safety and enjoyment. The first walk was in February this year which saw over twenty participants take on the National Park in Killarney and conquer Cardiac Hill. Subsequent walks have included the Gap of Dunloe in March, the Comeragh Mountains in April, Mangerton Mountain in May and the double summit Paps in June. Future planned walks for 2019 include Sheep’s Head, Brandon and Carrauntoohil. The Club is mindful of respecting the environment and reducing the impact we have on the hills. Carpooling is encouraged and we have been really lucky that members have shared lifts in their cars with others. The Club meets at 9am on the second Sunday of the month in Cork City and we are usually walking by 1030-1100am. Walks are graded according to their difficulty from easy to moderate to strenuous but most walks are within the capability of anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. There is a strong on emphasis on the social element of the walks and each walk finishes with a visit to some hostelry for refreshments on the way home. The Group is set up along the lines of others walking clubs and takes safety seriously. Participants must wear and carry the appropriate gear and individuals should be prepared at all times for unexpected weather and events. An information pack that is available from The Gay Project outlines what equipment is required but most people will already have some or all of the items such as a waterproof coat and pants, hats, gloves and walking boots with ankle supports. There are plenty of shops in Cork offering a good range of products at reasonable prices and most equipment lasts for years and represents good value for money. New members are always welcome and if you are interested in joining or finding out more you can contact email@example.com for further information.
LINC Boxing By Ciara Mulcahy Since November of 2018 a gang of women have been showing up to make Thursday nights about de-stressing, up-skilling, getting fit and having fun. Initially set up to send a Cork contingent off to the gay games, LINC staff arranged a venue and put the word out there about a queer women’s boxing club and a surprising percentage of the community love to punch stuff! We trained every Thursday until competition time drew closer and then our ‘day of rest’ each week became ‘sparring Sundays’. LINC sponsored our fabulous Ireland boxing kits and club members fundraised for the other costs. The plan became real when we touched down in Paris, in the heat and the excitement. Cork boxers exceeded expectations and, against international, high level competition, brought home 4 medals – 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze and caused quite a stir with participants and coaches from other disciplines coming to watch their final matches. Since returning from the games the women decided to continue training with some members continuing to compete. We have reopened membership and have welcomed new members to the fold. Each week students can expect a decent 90 minute work-out, great company and a good laugh. The classes are subsidised by LINC and so make for a very affordable get fit option. New members welcome! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork Rebel’s: Women’s Soccer This year a great group of women started soccer following the very successful ‘Pledge for Health’ programme that ran during LINC’s annual health week. In conjunction with Cork Rebels FC, the women started out on what was initially intended to be a six-week programme to develop basic soccer skills have fun and improve our health. After the six weeks we met and decided to continue playing every Monday evening at 7 in the Glen resource centre (which is easily accessible on a good bus route) We are always open to new players and welcome any and all LBT women who feel it might add something to their social calendar or physical wellbeing. No previous experience is needed so if you want to have a kick around then Monday is your day. When you join it’s a €20 membership fee for Cork Rebels and with that you get subsidised entry into Chambers for the year!
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CIT LGBT* SOCIETY CIT LGBT* Society is a student society for full-time students of Cork Institute of Technology that aims to: [Support]
To provide a private and confidential forum for members to be themselves and get to know people who have gone through similar experiences.
To engage in social activities to develop friendships and widen the outreach of the LGBT+ community in the Students’ Union and further afield.
To organise and implement information sessions during the year through activities or other campaigns to increase awareness of LGBT* issues.
To provide external support for those members who need it, including aiding individuals in accessing help and advice from professional bodies and charities.
Making members feel welcome and included in the Institute.
Promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding of all sexualities and gender identities with a view to ending the discrimination faced by, and faced within, the LGBT* community.
To enhance the ‘student experience’ for LGBT* students. 98
2019 has been a fantastic year for us having recently won CIT Society of the Year & Best Society in the Civic & Charity category for a small college at the 2019 Board of Irish College Societies Award that was held in Athlone. This outstanding achievement was made possible by the support, guidance and collaborations with CIT Societies Office, CITSU, Cork Pride Festival, Gay Project & LINC. As a student run society we pride ourselves on the hard work and dedication of our committee and members and believe that working collectively with community organisations and groups has helped us accomplish fantastic things over the year. We successfully continued to host weekly events to support our members, collaborated on events such as Cork City Culture night with Gay Project and Pancake Tuesday with LINC where our members could actively engage with the LGBTI+ community locally. However, our proudest achievement this year was the creation of our handbook on ‘Setting up a Gay/Straight or Gender & Sexuality Alliance’ in secondary schools. The handbook was launched to students and staff of Cork secondary schools by then Lord Mayor Mick Finn in Corks Millennium Hall in March. This is a project we have been working on over the last number of months that was inspired by the experiences of our society members and the members of UP Cork LGBTI+ Youth Project. Young people had expressed to us that they were seeking such supports from their secondary schools but there was a lack of information in an Irish context of how to go about and maintain such a group. We’re delighted to have been able to help provide this information and are overwhelmed with the support we’ve received in the process. It is our hope that this project will help the vulnerable young people that we’ve seen come through our society over the years and those that we’ll see in the future.
Sponsored by Cork Pride Festival, Bank of Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork Institute of Technology the handbook aims to provide schools with the information they need about how to set up and maintain a GSA in their schools. We received support and input from UP Cork LGBTI+ Youth Project, Gay Project, LINC, LGBT Ireland, BeLong To LGBT Youth Services, Union of Students Ireland, and CITSU among others. The launch featured talks and information stands from local organisations as well as speakers from supporting schools such as Príomhoide Tadhg Ó Laighin from Coláiste Daibhéid who said “This is important work for a vulnerable section of every school community. Inclusivity and support for all our students in Coláiste Daibhéid is a central part of what we strive for”. Vice Principal Aaron Wolfe of Deerpark CBS spoke of the importance of such projects and significance of having Catholic ethos schools such as Deerpark CBS supporting LGBTI+ initiatives of this kind. We’ve received fantastic support with this project to date and are aiming to take it further in the next term. We were delighted to be able to present the handbook to the master’s in education students in UCC and at the Allies for Youth event during Cork LGBT+ Awareness Week. Going forward we hope to expand the project to include training programmes for students and schools that want to set up a GSA in their schools and to make the handbook and other training features accessible online. We’ve got a lot of work to do but the future is bright and we’re ready to take it on! But for now… HAPPY CORK PRIDE!! For a copy of the GSA Handbook please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Facebook.
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UCC LGBT+ SOCIETY Happy Pride from the UCC LGBT* Society! We are a cheery student group, aiming to build a welcoming community in UCC for LGBT* people and allies, and to be a channel for people to socialise and get involved in culture and activism! With social, political, and cultural events, we hope to engage students with all facets of queer culture and experience, empowering them to make change in their lives and in the world around them. 2020 is a big year for us, as we’ll be celebrating 40 years since being founded. Our founder and then Students’ Union President, Cathal Kerrigan, won a debate with the Philosophical Society for the motion “This house supports the establishment of a college GaySoc by the Students Union,” with David Norris as his supporting guest speaker. After dazzling the crowd, he announced his intentions to act on the winning motion and 20 people followed him to do so- many of whom were heterosexual. From these beginnings we grew to be a large and loud presence in UCC (with now over 1000 members!), and try hold true to these roots of discussion, action, and allyship.
The past two years we’ve held panels on diversity and history, LGBT* people in the workplace, in culture, and in activism, with speakers like James Kavanagh, Ailbhe Smyth, Noah Halpin, and of course Cathal Kerrigan himself. We’ve got big plans for the coming year, with something for everyone! You can keep up with us on our radio show The Gay Agenda on UCC 98.3FM, on our upcoming podcast, Queerspiracy, and by keeping an eye on our social media! I can’t wait to join our wonderful committee and our members in UCC and throughout Cork for the Pride Parade. See you there! - Max Shanahan, Chairperson 2019/20
We have a jam-packed calendar of events aiming to do just that, such as our themed weeks like Coming Out Week, Inclusivity Week, and Trans & Non-Binary Awareness Week, celebrating diversity and helping young students who are often experiencing their first taste of LGBT* culture and freedoms to embrace who they are in such a time, and to embrace those around them for whoever they are. We hold biweekly brunches and monthly, and with our sisters in the Feminist Society we hold a regular nightclub ‘Future’ that is welcome to anyone looking to boogie! We also run campaigns for LGBT* rights and awareness, such as Binaries are for Computers last year, which focused on the identities, struggles, and experiences of non-binary people, and the toxicity of trying to place people into binary boxes of any kind- using images and statements from our non-binary members, and static effects. The highlight in our calendar is Queer Conference in February, which will be going into it’s third year! It’s a national conference open to all with speakers and panels from across the country discussing the relevant and engaging issues facing us today, covering all aspects of queer life in Ireland and around the world.
Hands I held her hand as if the whole world wasn’t watching Right there under that flickering neon sign inside. The one that advertised the type club night we came to, Sitting on a barstool waiting to celebrate Being young and infectiously smitten In this city of rebels and unhidden gems. This new level of liberation-a pulse of new creation That doesn’t exist back home. Escape on a barstool on the corner of McCurtain street.
A selection of excerpts..
Until the hammering of heavy feet, the stout stuck to his gullet as he hobbled towards us, approached us, broached us, Waving his arms erratically in disgust at our subtle display of love. We wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, That Éire 2017 couldn’t have a lout like him wandering around. So, we shut our mouths, Got off the stool he so desired, waited by the alcohol pyre Until he and his friends began to smile and jeer “We don’t want to see you fucking queers here.” Stop. Stone in my throat. She is silent. Her chocolate flecked eyes diffuse to grey. No longer able to stay; we well up with the words we can’t bear to say. Going out for air. I hate that I care. That this matters.I think in my mind “we’ve been so lucky up til now”Walking home down the back of the town. “I suppose it was bound to happen sometime”; The one night we go out into the lights, Our rainbow view is torn to black and white. And the night is over. Can’t hold her hand Or wrap my arm around her shoulder. Too affected by the older man’s scolder That we were being bolder than we should be in public.
Alana Daly Mulligan Alana Daly Mulligan and Jim Crickard will perform readings during Cork Pride at as part of Ó’Bhéal Poetry Readings and Open Mic programme, upstairs at The Long Valley Bar on Monday 29th July from 8:30pm. http://www.obheal.ie/blog Alana Daly Mulligan is an award-winning spoken-word “artivist” and filmmaker from Waterford, Ireland. Alana’s work targets heartstrings; battling brutal realities with the desire to connect, feel and love as a human being before everything else. She is the co-founder of the open mic ModwordsCork and The Lit Young Writers Festival. Alana features in the acclaimed collection of prose and poetry Autonomy, Solstice Sounds Volume VI, The Quarryman V and has been published in the University Express and BND. She has performed internationally at events like All Together Now, The First Fortnight Festival Cúirt International Poetry Festival (winning the opportunity to perform at Electric Picnic 2019) the Three-Dot-Dash-Summit in New York City and act as a support act to Shane Koyczan. Her spoken-word films are internationally recognised, having garnered over 80K views across social media. Alana is a Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar studying English and History in University College Cork. 104
Why do I though? Why are my feelings different to those Who are opposing genders? What make us worthy of verbal attack For something as small as holding hands? But I don’t want the world to consider Her hand as that of a man if I hold it. I don’t want to be tolerated or ignored. I want our fingers to intertwine, And you to go on with your lives, Not minding that we aren’t in hiding. So, bundle up the sticks and stones they throw, and build a house and a home. Realise beneath this skin that we are only just bones. And take my hand; Cause we all want a hand to hold.
The Great White Horse Trick As we lay barren and bare. Wrapped in the sailor’s sheets The mares of the night Manifesting in minus light. Kicking and neighing until She ran. Silver shoes imprint luck Into a spring mud And sand along the trá. Who knew two mná Could drown so drastically? But we all know best in love, All the greatest in our know, Until we fall out of it. Or off it Rather. That little dying song of the Little dying Deer, Caught up in the Great White Horse Trick: The lure, the lust, the love, the loss All glossed over by some heroic prestige. He should have listened, I should have listened too. To you, said nothing. Let my words burn on the pyres, Skewer on the spires of the monsters We left behind. Alas, I did not this do. And here we are eye to eye, Amber to blue, My fingers slip from the reins, Brow filled with sweat, anger and pain I can feel you letting me go. As you loosen your grip, On the white horse trick. Release a winter to the ocean, Settle her grieving with an offering of me, And I will roar to you Heroes sometimes need saving too.
January Showers And I shall hold up the sky you dream under, Give you every shock of thunder, I can shake from my aches and pains, Be the umbrella against this Irish rain That permeates our rain coats and clothes. If you hold up my heart In the face of the elements; Proudly declaring that it pumps for you. Small showers of salvation, A prayer shared by two.
Jim Crickard Jim Crickard writes poetry in a camp, entertaining style which explores various flamboyant scenarios. In 2018, he won the Cuirt Spoken Word Platform and was awarded a slot to perform at Electric Picnic. Jim Crickard has been invited to perform his poetry at events and venues such as The Crossover, The Friary, Connolly’s of Leap, the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer festival, and Zoolala. He was shortlisted for the 2018 Ó Bhéal International Five Words Competition. His poetry has been published in Automatic Pilotand Contemporary Poetry.
“I was born May 6th, 1992. Homosexuality was legalised in 1993. I guess that means I was an illegal baby. You know what they say about gays always needing an entrance.” — “When I turned sixteen, I felt the word “fabulous” on my tongue. That sparkling, ridiculous word tasted like a cherry cocktail I splashed around in conversations announcing who I was, I flew a flag and hilarious girls encircled me protectively: their little gay president.” — “[...]After the Saturday Night Show, Panti Bliss rose from the dark green crevices of our forty shades, with emerald green crates of light splitting off her body, breaking into rainbow quartz[...]” — “[...]Dear Straight Men, Just because I’m gay It doesn’t mean I want every man... I only want most of you. [...]”
Happy Pride from TENI
TENI seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. www.teni.ie / firstname.lastname@example.org / (01) 873 3575
Whether you’re ‘I am’ or ‘am I?’. We wish you a happy and healthy Pride.
The importance of lgbtqi+ Community spaces By Pádraig Rice, Michael O’Donnell and Sarah O’Herlihy with contributions from various community members We asked people from different generations, genders and geographies to share why Cork’s LGBTQI+ community spaces like the Gay Project and LINC were important to them. We were touched by the authenticity and rawness of their responses and inspired by forward looking heartfelt determination. In spite of the clear differences between the respondees, each answer echoes and resonates with the others and together they tell a story. Here is what they said:
Jacqueline ‘I came to Ireland in 2015, 18 years old and ready to explore Cork. At the time I had been out and proud for four years and been to a few prides in Germany. Yet, I had never really met another out-queer person face to face. Seeing as I was an Au Pair, I didn’t have much opportunity to make Irish friends let alone meet other queer people. This changed when I found the UP Cork LGBTI+ Youth Group online. Suddenly I was surrounded by people with similar experiences to me. For just for two hours a week I felt understood in a way that even my closest friends back in Germany could not offer me. Now, twice a week I get to join a diverse group of young people in the Gay Project and in LINC to just hang out, have workshops on everything from sex ed to movie nights or healthy cooking and generally be young and queer. The community space in the Gay Project allows us to be ourselves outside of the judging eyes of our peers and teachers, and to feel a certain pride in being out and proud. Talking to older members of the community and seeing all that can be done is encouraging and motivates us to keep pushing. This why it’s important to provide spaces like the Gay Project in Cork and many more spaces like it are needed across Ireland.’
John & Bruce ‘The Gay Project is a welcome reimagining of the needs and services of the Cork gay community. The victories of the Marriage Equality and Repeal have shown the power of leading the politicians where the people want them to go. The loss of the Other Place is sad but allows us to look to the future for a community centre that can permanently serve our needs. We are pleased to see so much innovation and energy at the Project with activities and outreach to many groups that are neglected and hard to reach in our community. We have attended many good workshops, launches and fundraisers here at the Project since its reformulation. The attempts to connect the community with resources of the state and many private agencies seem extensive and are yielding results. 108
We were greatly helped when we arrived to live in Cork a dozen years ago, by some of the staff and contacts we made when we first went to the Other Place. It is wrong to think we’ve come “far enough” that we don’t need well organised efforts in our community to push the continuing barriers and indignity aside. The Board and enthusiastic staff and volunteers are creating a safe and stimulating environment for the gathering of our wide LGBT+ family.’
Jack ‘I write this on the eve of going to a week-long event where no one knows me and I most likely will be the only trans person. It’s scary and I am very nervous while people can be kind they’re also often misinformed. I often find myself in these scenarios where I am thrust into the position of the educator. I become everyone source of knowledge to do with anything around gender identity. While I am happy to do this in a professional situation it can get frustrating when it’s in a social situation. In these interactions I know I have to be courteous, the trans person with the endless patience of others people’s ignorance. Cos I know if I’m ever annoyed or short with somebody it will not reflect badly just on me but on the trans community as a whole. This is a roll that can be quite exhausting. Sometimes I wonder if people even get to actually know me as a person beyond my gender identity. Funny enough the only places where I feel like I am just myself are in trans and non-binary spaces. There is that shared understanding of what it’s like to be us, where I don’t have to be the perfect trans person and I can just feel myself warts and all. It’s one of the few spaces where I don’t have to argue why my existence is valid.’
Thomas ‘I must confess that it annoys me a lot when I hear people say that there is no longer a need for queer spaces or communities, due to recent progressive legislation and positive LGBT+ representations in society. It is amazing seeing egalitarian societal structures being set up for Irish LGBT+ people at such a fast pace. However, coming from Denmark where gay marriage, legislation protecting LGBT+ individuals and public acceptance of gay people have existed for a longer time, every week I am reminded that there are a lot of things we need to improve - all over Western Europe and at the most basic levels. That also requires a shared effort and active participation in making our local LGBT+ communities better. I volunteer at Frontrunners Cork dealing with registrations and promotional material, and as a LGBT+ helpline supporter at LGBT Ireland. Both roles are personally rewarding in so many ways; yielding new friendships, expanding my network, getting new knowledge and making me feel as an active part of the city. I think we will need to have local gay communities for a long time into the future and active members of such communities who make sure that there are safe and friendly spaces to get support and to socialise in. I am grateful to be part of such community initiatives, and hopefully one day, I may look back at what we as a community did for an easier future.’
Sarah O’Herlihy ‘In 1999, two years before I came out, I was working in Wallaroo playshool and vividly remember my colleagues chatting excitedly about LINC opening its door for the first time. They marvelled at the fact that Cork would have the only lesbian and bisexual women’s community centre in Ireland. In those two years before I came out, I was very confused about my sexual orientation and had a lot of internal homophobia. The fear of being rejected by my family, friends and society at large was very real. Once I had accepted my sexual orientation, I felt a huge sense of freedom and happiness. I began slowly ‘coming out’ to my close friends and colleagues. As a single Mum with two children I really wanted to meet other lesbian/ bisexual women with children. Then a colleague of mine at work said they were facilitating a parenting course in LINC! I had missed a week but I was welcome to come along for the remainder of the course. I walked nervously through the door of Linc and was met with a very warm welcome and never looked back. Soon the women in the parenting group were to become my tribe. They supported and helped me through some of the toughest times in coming out especially telling my parents. While my Dad was very open minded and supportive my Mum found it very difficult to accept. She suggested maybe I ‘thought’ I was a lesbian because of the abusive experiences I had with men. It was a relief to have a tribe of women who listened and cared for me during those times. While it was also hard to hear of their struggles, it was a comfort to know we weren’t alone. 20 years ago if someone had said to me that I would be going to LINC and be an out and proud lesbian in the community, I wouldn’t have believed them. Actually, I would have run away so I’m glad no one predicted that!!! Looking back now, being part of other groups in Linc such as the MNA MNA choir, creative writing workshops, and the counselling service helped me to overcome fears and heal from issues I carried from when I was a closeted teenager.
is from Wednesday 23rd –Saturday 26th October (2019) in the Cork Arts Theatre. Put it in your diary! In September 2015, both my children came out as Transgender. LINC and their counselling service was a massive support to our family, in a very difficult and lonely time and that has been invaluable to me and to my children.’ There is much that can be learned from reading such powerful narratives both for those of us within the LGBT+ communities and our allies. Within the theme of space/place what is evident is the experience of belonging and authenticity referred to - with some even pointing out how there are few other places where they can truly be themselves. Equally the importance of participation and contribution equally shone through in all of the testimonies within the language of ‘keep pushing’ and even expressions of gratitude for their ability to contribute. Moreover, many of the participants reported their experience of migrating from other countries or other cities/towns and the experience of welcome they receive. Importantly this feeling stretched beyond the dedicated rooms where these interactions occur and speak to the role of the ‘City of Sanctuary’ in providing this broader welcoming experience. However, it is clear that we cannot become complacent. Perhaps most important and inspiring of all is the clear statement that there is still a long way to go - which came through in many of the testimonies Indeed, they all spoke about the work that is left to do within the language of ‘pushing barriers’; the experience of being ‘thrust’ into unfriendly spaces/places and circumstances and the extensive work that remains to improve this; the expression of a need for more spaces and even the combatting of the narrative that all of the work is done as is so eloquently pointed out. We see this as further evidence of the drive and passion that exists within the LGBT Communities in Cork.
I had been asked to leave the school choir, I’m not sure was it because I couldn’t sing or I was just messing all the time! I was very happy to be accepted into MNA MNA and loved being part of ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’ production. We danced and sang to our hearts content for the CWFW that year and I had a tiny acting role too. I wrote two poems as a teenager but abandoned them and told myself that I wasn’t a ‘good enough’ writer or poet. I tried the creative writing workshops in Linc because my friend was facilitating them and I thought she was a great writer. Another writer friend of mine encouraged me and as a result I began believing maybe I could write poems again. Sometime later I even had one published. As a young child while on a local Summer Scheme I had a very bad experience with stage fright and never got over it. I denied I would even like to act until I saw ‘Ordinary Love’ which was LINC Drama groups’ first production. When I joined Drama group I was excited but so terrified of performing. The first play I was a part of ‘The L World’ was a huge success and I couldn’t wait for the next one. Last year we performed ‘Queerside’, I took a poem I had written some years previous and adapted it into a 3 minute stand-up comedy piece. It was received so well that I have written another piece as part of this year’s play which 109
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UP Cork LGBTI+ & Allies Youth Group
Pride - By Ben
Pride is not just a walk on a street. It’s running with burning coals under your feet.
A brick flies People scream Our sisters stand tall Leading the parade Let’s not forget Who brought us here Who still fights And suffers
Physical torture, anguish. Inside all of this pain are monsters in your head, driving you insane. It’s holding hands while you feel only fear. It’s strangers who stare, stalk and leer. It’s equality, justice fairness for all. It’s helping others when we see them fall
Pride is a riot For what we deserve Is not handed out on silver plates But fought for
Pride is expression of whoever you are Ballinlough to Bali, near and far. Peace, Love, Equality we strive for. But so many issues we ignore.
‘UP Cork’ is a youth project for LGBTI+ Pride is us, Pride is not one. young people and allies aged 15-23 years. So, show your colours. Go have fun. Our vision is to provide a holistic, inclusive & empowering service to LGBTI+ Jaye young people & allies. The project provides one-to-one and group support to allow LGBTI+ young people to safely engage with confidence building, personal development, peer support and making friends. It also affords young people a space where they can experience inclusion, acceptance, social justice, fun and safety.
Run by Youth Work Ireland Cork the groups meet twice weekly.
Tuesdays 6-8pm Wednesdays 5-7pm Workshops include;
Pride to me is having the courage and ability to fly your colours without fearing the judgement of other people, knowing exactly who you are and not being afraid to show it, and being part of a tribe of those who understand and value you for you. Simply put, pride is about knowing yourself, being yourself and loving yourself unconditionally despite what others may say or think.
Rosie For me, pride is looking past outer appearances and loving your identity and who you are as a person.
Claire When I was younger I used to believe there was something different about me, something magical. I felt a power within me, a sense of warmth and a longing to be part of something more. Turns out there isn’t anything magical about me, I’m just queer. Years later, after my first Pride I felt this feeling again, only this time I belonged. Pride to me is a celebration of victory and a commemoration for who fought for us and who we fight with. Pride is a show of unity, peace and forever changing world we are fighting to protect.
· history of LGBTI+ & advocacy · gender identity · social & emotional wellbeing · music/art & dance projects
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THE IRISH BRING IT HOME Since 1982, the Gay Games has connected people from all walks of life, bringing people together with shared values of diversity, respect, equality, and solidarity, with sport providing the platform for togetherness and inclusion. The 10th Gay Games, hosted in Paris from August 4-12 2018, saw over 10,000 athletes compete from 70 countries across 36 different sports. Our Irish team was represented by 125 participants who took part in 15 different sporting events and brought home a record total of 42 medals. The build-up to Paris, aside from training, fundraising and community meetings involved being invited to a wonderful reception at Aras an Uachtarain to meet the President Micheal D Higgins and his wife. The Cork participants were invited to Cork City Hall for a reception with the Lord Mayor of Cork, and then received a fabulous send-off at Cork airport as we headed to Paris, which included rousing speeches from the Lord Mayor, County Mayor and top Irish footballer Orlagh Farmer. The opening ceremony was an emotional event, proud participants marched under the Irish flag along with 10,000 other participants from over 80 countries and for a glorious moment in time we were equally proud of the rainbow and the tricolour in a beautiful amalgamation of national pride and LGBT pride. Part of Ireland’s medal haul included a team of 19 badminton players who played out of their skins to win 9 medals, beating competitors from USA, Canada, France, Germany, Slovenia and Finland. The conditions were the most challenging we had ever faced, playing in a huge hall with 23 courts in temperatures of 37 degrees - and no air conditioning. Many of our team went all the way to the finals in their categories, with teammates beating fellow teammates to secure medals. In the Women’s Doubles Ccategory, Team Ireland excelled with an all Ireland podium, cleaning up with all Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. In the Women’s C+ Singles we won Gold, and in the Mixed Doubles C- category, we won Silver. The women’s boxing team also shone as an example of excellent dedication and ability. After 9 months training from novice to ring ready, four women representing Cork and Ireland battled it out over two days and three bouts each against Scotland, England and France. The Irish boxers took home two golds, a silver and a bronze in less than favourable conditions; incredible heat, rule and weight category changes on arrival and of course determined opponents. They did their coach and their country proud! Team Cork also sent participants to athletics and soccer and we boasted a collection of swimmers who impressed us with their skills in the pool also taking home medals. Beyond the incredible atmosphere of the gay village and the sporting events, the Irish team proved that our reputation of comradery and craic is full of truth. We shouted one another on, celebrated the wins and grieved the losses together, we marvelled in the sense of unity and solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters and we danced the night (and the morning away) at the after party. Congratulations to all who did Ireland proud! As participants, we felt that it was a privilege to play under the Irish banner, and honoured to know that we had the support of Badminton Ireland, our local community organisations and businesses plus many supporters in Paris, in addition to friends, families and even politicians cheering us on from back home. Everyone celebrated with Pride. Well done team Ireland!
We are Abtran, We are Proud! By Tara Cregan Sharing our stories with each other is how we can learn for each other through experiences, lessons and our journeys. I have been in Abtran several years as a Customer Service Advisor in Cork and I now work in our Sligo office, worlds away from the city life, but still as interesting as ever! When I joined Abtran, I was openly out for about 2 years. My experience working here and being openly Gay has only ever been positive. It’s a unique work place in general with people from all walks of life working here. While working here I have never felt the need to deny who I was in any capacity. The LGBTQ* organisations that Abtran support, including Cork Pride, mean a massive amount to me. It’s not so long ago that I walked in the door of LINC in Cork, trying to make sense of the turmoil I was feeling. The youth are our future and we need to support them to become the best they can, and I feel that support is there in Abtran. I have never been as proud of this country as the day we passed the marriage referendum, Pride that year was like none I had witnessed the pure joy on people’s faces was uplifting. Events like pride are important to so many and all those brave people who fought for the decriminalisation and other such rights deserve to be celebrated each year! While I am the current Chairperson of the Abtran LGBTQ* Club, I didn’t set up the group, but have been involved since the early days. We have made a huge effort to turn it into a functioning Society and last year’s Pride was our biggest success. Working closely with other teams in the company like our Comms, Engagement Teams and Senior Management, we had a fantastic Pride week and the hope is to do the same again this year. My hope for the coming year is to increase our membership, and for people to realise it’s not exclusively for people who are LGBTQ*. Utilising tools like our internal communications platform and intranet to be able to reach out to anyone who may find refuge in having access to helpful and insightful information. I think whether we have connected before or not in our personal lives, when any of us from the LGBTQ* community come together we always have a common goal to share and so the attitude is positive. Do we encounter tough days in our lives? Of course, but for the most part, it has been a pleasure so far. I can hand on heart say not only does Abtran foster inclusion, it delves into so many different aspects of culture and diversity and embraces it. Exclusion wouldn’t be tolerated here from my experience. #WeAreAbtran #WeAreProud
Celebrate Cork Pride with us!
Comminity, support, educaďż˝on and advocacy for bi+ people in Ireland Bi+ Ireland are proud to be the only organisaďż˝on providing support, community, and advocacy for bi+ people throughout the island of Ireland. We work to bring about a more inclusive LGBTQIA+ community, and a society where all of us are valued equally. Everyone under the bi+ umbrella- be they bi, pan,queer or more-are welcome to join us in our events throughout the country, as well as our Facebook discussion group.
Join us at:
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We run events and social groups We provide information, resources and support We deliver workshops and talks We campaign for LGBTQ human rights and policy protections 021 430 0430 email@example.com 4 South Terrace, Cork, Ireland, T12 DP46
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