Gay pride in Sligo
I am a single gay man of 51. I've lived and worked in Dublin and London for over 15 years. I came back to my small town in the North West almost 20 years ago to look after my folks. This year was my first ever NW Pride Parade.
To say I was frightened taking part, is putting it mildly. I went to school in Sligo in the 70s, worked in Sligo for 15 years and I know a lot of people. Although my family know I am gay, this is never discussed.
So, here I am, at 51, beginning to live a life I should have been living for the past 20 years. I have met the most wonderful people through my LGBT meetings. The love and support I get from those at North West Pride has given me so much to live for. A huge cloud has been lifted from my life.
I would urge any man or woman who is in the same position not to leave it for as long as I did - go along to a LGBT meeting, or just make a call to one of the support groups.
As regards the coverage in The Sligo Champion of the Pride Parade, it was only fantastic. It showed the true joy and happiness of the Parade, and that is all that mattered on the day. Name and Address with the Editor.