Saturday 21 July 2018

Clouds over the rainbow lift at sun-kissed Pride

There were many beautiful moments to gladden the heart at yesterday's Pride, writes Donal Lynch

former President Mary McAleese, her husband Martin, her son Justin and his husband, Fionan. Photo: Fergal Phillips.
former President Mary McAleese, her husband Martin, her son Justin and his husband, Fionan. Photo: Fergal Phillips.
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

England's 'stately homo', Quentin Crisp, once said that "if you simply wait long enough in this life, you will find yourselves having travelled from the outskirts of acceptability to the very heart of society".

Dublin's public face confirmed the truth of that statement this weekend. Government Buildings glowed with the rainbow colours. The tech firms around the 'silicon docks' had swathed themselves in Prideful slogans such as 'love is love' - most of them had floats in the parade. And, of course, the pubs in town had bedazzled themselves with glitter, rainbow bunting and phrases like 'yas queen'.

The hordes of young people with their faces painted, their hair dyed and their sponsored merchandise, showed that Pride, once a protest, has become a festival; inclusive, accessible and not a little corporate (Tesco was the sponsor this year). Members of the defence forces marched - the uniforms were triggering for some in all sorts of ways - and politicians such as Paul Murphy swapped the figurative bandwagons for literal ones. Peter Tatchell - the famous British human rights campaigner - was one of the notable overseas guests and a link to the event's activist past, as was Queer Action Ireland's memorable banner: 'You only gave us rights because we gave you riots'.

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