Dublin Pride and Me
30 years ago a judge, Justice Sean Gannon, issued a suspended prison sentence to 5 youths who admitted kicking a man to death because they thought he was gay. As a result of this ruling 700 gay activists marched on the streets of Dublin.
I can still vividly remember the daily persecution of one of my school mates for being gay. There has been 20 years since I first personally saw that level of misguided hatred and I am still proud of the fact that this guy is my friend. Despite the best efforts of the haters in his youth he is living a good life helping others. Living well is the best revenge.
Last month was the first time that I really got a sense that things were starting to change for the better for Irish gay citizens. As the Nando’s hot Piri-Piri chicken float drifted past me I thought that now Nando’s have rowed in on the debate same sex marriage and equal rights for all can’t be too far behind.
I enjoyed my day out at the pride march, there was a fantastic family atmosphere, people were happy to pose for portraits and because all the roads around the houses of parliament were closed or blocked to facilitate a massive street party meant that even the politicians could not ignore a seven foot tall man in drag.
What really surprised me was the level of support that was on the streets of Dublin and solidarity with the LGBTQ community. I know this support did not come overnight and that the battle for gay rights in Ireland still has such a long way to go but I am pretty sure that if anyone ever offered the defence to a judge that they killed someone on the grounds that they were “queer” I think there would be a lot more that 700 people out on the streets of Dublin.
All b & w shots with F100 – Kodak Trix 400 and the clour stuff is the Olympus EE-3