The countdown is on for Dundalk Pride 2018 which takes place this weekend at Dundalk Outcomers' premises at Roden Place.
This year's programme of events have been compacted into two days, with the Youth Pride Day on Friday and the popular family-friendly open day on Saturday.
'The Youth Pride Day is aimed at young people aged between 12 and 18 years who are part of, or are allies of, the LGBT community,' explains Outcomers' youth co-ordinator Sandra Gojic.
'We are having a series of workshops and talks for young people from all over the north east including Cavan, Monaghan and Meath as well as Louth,' she continued. 'This is the third Youth Pride we've held and theme for these workshops and talks centres around gender and identity navigation in a binary world.'
The guest speaker at this year's event is activist Santina Sorrenti, who has campaigned for the introduction of non-gender specific clothing ranges for children and young people.
There will also be a workshop where participants can design their own t-shirts.
The history of the LGBT movement in Ireland will be outlined to mark the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland so that young people will be aware of the struggles undertaken to raise awareness of LGBT rights in the past, leading up to last year's Marriage Equality referendum.
Young people will also get the opportunity to take part in a workshop on resilience building and empowerment, which will encourage them to use the resources of the LGBT community and groups such as Dundalk Outcomets to find a safe space in which to express their sexuality.
Anyone wishing to attend the Youth Pride Day events must register beforehand and should email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
The annual Pride open day in the Outcomers' courtyard at Roden Place is also a popular event and promises to be just as colourful this year.
This family friendly day gets underway on Saturday 12pm and runs throughout the afternoon with a BBQ and lots of entertainment.
'We are having a parents' lounge and kids' area this year, as well as a youth space for young people to hang out together,' says Sandra.
'The Sofa Samba Band from Drogheda will be back again and they are always great fun. A number of local bands will also be playing and we'll have a magician and face-painting.'
There will be a cafe as well as big variety of stalls offering arts and crafts, books, plants and beautifully painted crafted furniture.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Dundalk Outcomers moving into their drop-in centre at 8 Roden Place and an event commemorating that occasion will take place later in the year.
For further information about Dundalk Pride 2018 and the services provided by Dundalk Outcomers to the LGBT community throughout the north east, check out their website, www.outcomers.org or facebook page or phone (042) 932 9816