In the past week we heard a lot from people from all sides of our community regarding Dublin Pride’s decision not to allow speakers from community and activist groups after Saturday’s parade. Fortunately for everyone, Pride were able to come to an agreement with LGBTQ groups, allowing them a small amount of time to address the Pride crowds.
There’s one thing I kept on hearing last week from some people associated with Pride Committee members that I’d like to address, and that’s this: where were the community and activist groups all year? While Pride Committee members were volunteering their time to put on a festival.. where was everyone else?
Where were they? Here, of course. Everywhere.
I find it difficult to understand how members of the Pride committee could see that they gave long hours to their group, but not that everyone else is doing the same.
The vast majority of the work that goes into every LGBT community or activist group in the country is voluntary. Even organisations with paid staff rely heavily on volunteers. Throughout the country, every evening and weekend, people give long hours of their time and donate their incredible expertise to build our communities and campaign for inclusion and equality.
We all give our time.
Activist and community groups build and sustain the community that Pride celebrates. They give us a place to go for the other 50 weeks of the year. They run the support groups and helplines. They organise our regular meetups. They run the campaigns that will- oh, they will– build a society where LGBTQ people are not only equally respected under the law, but equally valued as members of our society.
Activist and community groups have been working their butts off on activism and community building. That’s what they do. They also gave Dublin Pride what they asked for- filled out their forms to be part of the parade- and no doubt assumed that in the absence of any further information, the day would continue to be organised in a similar way to how it had been for years. Dublin Pride are the people who had responsibility for letting everyone else know if something else was going on.
If they didn’t do that? They should own up. Complaining about having put in long hours to people who do the exact same thing with their own evenings and weekends? Not doing anyone any favours. Hopefully next year’s committee can learn from this year’s mistakes, take ownership of their jobs and make an event that is both a spectacular party and a call to action.
Check out my latest post over at Gaelick- this one on Carla Bruni’s baffling assertion that we no longer need feminism:
Y’know what’s strange? Carla Bruni seems to think that, well, feminism is outdated and unnecessary. Despite having been pilloried for years-old sexy pictures when she moved on to a more ‘respectable’ career path. Despite having been branded with sexualised, misogynistic insults when she defended a woman sentences to death for adultery. Despite working with women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Despite all of that, Bruni ain’t a feminist. And she doesn’t see why any of us are either.
Read the rest at Feminsm est mort! | gaelick.
And as you’re there, why not check out some of the other things Gaelickers have been writing about this week?
Butt it’s sexy:
Dudes, there is an elephant in the room, and I think it’s time we talked about it. Not enough people are talking about this elephant, and by elephant I of course mean your butt. Nobody is talking about your butt. The Saddest Story.
Anal sex is one of the hardest things to talk about, because most of society thinks butts are kind of gross. Wrong! I bet most of you guys have very lovely bottoms, bottoms you want to share with equally lovely tops, but how to broach this incredibly awkward subject?? It’s a tough one.
Being a Gay Teacher:
Monday morning. I have mixed feelings. I’m looking forward to work and I’m slightly dreading it. I can’t wait to see the children again, the smile on their faces when they come into the classroom, I have a cool art lesson planned, and I got new toys over the weekend that I know they’re going to love. I get to school, the morning goes well. We all have fun. I have one of those great moments where you can see progress in a particular child and you know your hard work is paying off. Our nursery rhyme this week is Incy Wincy Spider, they all laugh and clap at my impression of Incy Wincy falling down in the rain, I’m here ’till Friday kids!
Bell goes. It’s lunchtime. Staffroom is calling. Now for your typical Monday morning conversation. I have a few scenarios where I employ different techniques to avoid anyone finding out I’m gay.
BeLonG To Blueprint for Protecting LGBT Asylum Seekers and Refugees:
Speaking about their experiences, a young gay refugee from Southern Africa said: “This is the truth: I don’t think I’d be here right now if it wasn’t for BeLonG To. I really wanted to kill myself, I just really wanted to die and get away from this. But then after talking to people from this service, encouraging me and constantly telling me that everything would be ok, and still giving me room to express myself all the time… They have helped me a lot, I have grown, and I have learned how to accept myself.”
Álainn or Appallin’: Janet Mock:
Former people.com editor Janet Mock never intended to be an icon but that is exactly what she is. Coming out as a transgender woman in May 2011 Mock did an interview with Marie Claire entitled I Was Born a Boy. The open and frank account of her life was, and still is, deeply moving and lead her on the path to become an amazing advocate for our community.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Janet was educated in the University of Hawaii as well as doing graduate work with the school of journalism, NYU. She is both a writer and an activist, working out of Harvey Milk High School NY as part of the Hetrick-Martin Institute where she is involved in the education of LGBT youth, specifically creating transgender-specific programs.
And loads and loads more!
BeLonG To have made a fantastic video highlighting the experiences of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers here in Ireland. It’s part of their larger Asylum Seekers and Refugees Project, which works to provide support and a safe space for LGBT asylum seeker and refugee young people. It’s difficult watching, but absolutely worth the 8 minutes. The lives of asylum seekers and refugees are widely ignored in this country, they’re made to live in inhuman conditions while becoming convenient political scapegoats.
Make yourself a cuppa and check this out. Then share it to everyone you know.
And more from the Tea Cosy:
- Immigration, Emigration and an Apology (considertheteacosy.wordpress.com)
- I’m Not A Racist, But… (considertheteacosy.wordpress.com)
- Anti-Deportation Ireland launch (considertheteacosy.wordpress.com)