Tuesday 28 February 2017

Rebels out in force as LGBT community kicks off annual Pride festival

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

John Hawkins, Ringsend, and Thomas Maher, Crumlin at the George in Dublin last night. Photos: Arthur Carron.
John Hawkins, Ringsend, and Thomas Maher, Crumlin at the George in Dublin last night. Photos: Arthur Carron.

Drag queens, glam rockers and history buffs crowded into The George last night for the launch of Dublin Pride.

This year's theme 'Rebel Rebel' pays tribute to David Bowie and our 1916 forefathers.

"We thought it was a nice angle on the centenary celebrations," Festival Director Jed Dowling said.

"We want to see everyone's rebellious side this weekend".

The climax of the festivities will be the shimmering parade in Dublin on Saturday.

The parade will begin at the Garden of Remembrance and move across the city.

Dublin's Merrion Square will also host a variety of activities on Saturday while discos and drag brunches are a must on Sunday.

"It's going to be the biggest Pride yet," Joe said. "We're very excited."

Last night, founder of Ireland's Queer Archive Tonie Walsh gave a talk on the History of Dublin Pride and the obstacles Ireland's LGBT community have faced over the years. Walsh also discussed last year's momentous Marriage Referendum before drag queen Veda took to the stage.

Around 50,000 people attended the Dublin LGBT Pride Parade in 2015.

With similar numbers predicted to attend this year, AirBnB has called on Irish families to 'host with pride'.

It comes as a survey from iReach found that over half of Irish people believe the passing of the Marriage Referendum made them more proud to be Irish. Teaming up with AirBnB, Panti launched a guide for visitors to Pride.

"Ireland has always been known as a welcoming country but now, one year on from the momentous passing of the Marriage Referendum, we can say that Ireland is truly an incredible country that welcomes everyone," Panti said. For the Sunday after Pride, Bow Lane will also host the first monthly Drag Brunch with a drag diva host, DJs, lip-sync battles and cupcake competitions.

Irish Independent

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