In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride month, students took to the streets for Dublin’s 36th annual Pride Parade.
Over 70 LGBTQ+ organisations and community groups took part in the march while Dublin-based street artist, radio DJ, and Gay Rights activist Will St Leger served as the Grand Marshal.
The parade began at 1pm on O’Connell Street as groups marched down Eden Quay and past Liberty Hall before crossing the Liffey and finishing in Merrion Square. Individuals were invited to join in with the march at any point along the parade route.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) provided free food for students at a “pride breakfast” in House 6 at 10am, in advance of joining the parade.
TCDSU president Laura Beston told Trinity News that the breakfast “was set up with the hope to provide our students with a place to meet and set themselves up for the day”. She added: “We wanted to provide an event for the day that was free from the influence of drinking.”
This year’s parade theme was “Rainbow Revolution” in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In regards to the theme, Dublin Pride Parade organisers posted: “This year is 50 years since the Stonewall Revolution that marked the start of the International Pride movement. A lot has been done but we’re not finished yet. And sure 50 is only young.”
The parade has come under fire for claims of commercialisation, with some believing that the celebration has been exploited by companies for their own financial gain.
Some students elected to take part in an alternative pride parade, organised by the group Queer Action Ireland, who also object to the participation of uniformed Gardaí in the parade.
Laura Beston told Trinity News: “We fully support the statements made by Queer Action Ireland and recognise the need for an alternative pride. The increased involvement of corporations, unethical sponsors and groups that have been violent towards the LGBT community proves this.”
However, TCDSU did not have a presence in the alternative pride parade, which Beston said was due to not having the numbers to send people to both parades.
Grand Marshall of Dublin Pride, Will St Leger, is an HIV activist raising awareness for the Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) campaign. Prior to the parade, St Leger stated: “We want to use this opportunity to spread the message as wide and far as possible that if you are living with HIV and you are on effective treatment you cannot pass HIV on to your sexual partners—even without other prevention methods like condoms or PrEP. Everyone living with HIV deserves to know that you can lead a long, healthy life, have children, and never have to worry about passing the virus on to others. Undetectable equals Untransmittable—U=U,” he said.
The first large scale march in Dublin for LGBTQ+ rights took place 36 years ago in 1983 following the murder of Declan Flynn. Flynn, a gay Irish man, was attacked and killed in Fairview Park in 1982.