The 2023 Dublin Pride Festival begins on June 19 with a full week of festivities including the parade on Saturday, June 24. Launched in City Hall on Thursday, June 1, this year’s theme is ‘Protest.Remember.Celebrate’ and events will honour several LGBTQ+ milestones: 50 years since the establishment of Ireland’s Sexual Liberation Movement, 40 years since the Fairview March and Dublin’s first Pride parade, and 30 years since decriminalisation.
This year’s celebration offers a whole week’s worth of activities, including queer history walking tours with Tonie Walsh, a badge-making workshop, and a Pride Disco Drag Brunch, just to name a few. Saturday’s events include the beloved Dublin Pride parade and the Pride Village at Merrion Square.
Throughout the festival, tributes will be paid to four significant anniversaries, as mentioned above.
In October 1973, a dedicated group of 10 LGBTQ+ activists established Ireland’s Sexual Liberation Movement at Trinity College Dublin. Their early work paved the way for the visibility and freedom we are able to celebrate today, and members of the SLM have been chosen as the parade’s Grand Marshall for 2023.
This year also marks 40 years since the 1983 Fairview March, the first large-scale civil rights protest in the Republic of Ireland. On March 19, 1983, hundreds of people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park, protesting the verdict of the murder of Declan Flynn, a 31-year-old who was killed in a vicious homophobic attack.
Despite admitting to “queer bashing” the victim, Flynn’s killers walked free with suspended sentences, sparking the Irish queer community to join forces with women’s rights groups, trade unions, students’ unions and other civil rights organisations to come out in protest of violence against LGBTQ+ people and women.
In June of that year, LGBTQ+ groups took to the streets again to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. Although the community had commemorated this anniversary as far back as 1974, the 1983 march has come to be known as the first Dublin Pride parade.
Dublin Pride 2023 also represents 30 years since Ireland officially decriminalised homosexuality, a milestone representing decades of LGBTQ+ activism.
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) June 1, 2023
Jamie Kenny, Executive Director of Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride said: “It is so important not to forget the pioneers of homosexual rights in Ireland. There are so many new communities in Ireland such as Ukrainian Action Ireland who have gotten involved but we still need to encourage young people to get involved.”
GCN is celebrating an anniversary of its own this year, too, with 35 years of being Ireland’s free national LGBTQ+ press. We’re paying tribute to all of the milestones in our new Pride 2023 collection featuring queer tees, tanks, totes, and more, featuring protest pieces boasting slogans like the “Stop Violence Against Gays and Women” tagline that was used during the Fairview March in 1983.
You can find these designs and more Pride accessories, flags, and apparel in the Dublin Pride Hub which is now open on 44 Clarendon Street.
There is a lot of queer history to honour and celebrate this year. While Ireland has made substantial progress in recent times, we still have a lot of work to do to fully support and protect all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Ireland ranks 16th out of 49 countries on ILGA Europe’s Rainbow Europe Map and Index 2023, and with six to 10-year waiting lists for gender-affirming care, Ireland ranks the worst country in the EU for trans healthcare.
It’s important to remember this while we celebrate. Pride doesn’t end in June, so be sure to stand with our trans and intersex community members and also march with Trans Pride on July 8.
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