Trinity students are celebrating diversity today as the Pride parade marched through the streets of Dublin. Pride is an annual event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and QSoc hosted a “great big pride breakfast” this morning before the parade in House Six. The breakfast provided pancakes from popular café Lemon and other refreshments to students before they joined the parade.
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU LGBT Rights Officer Aaron Donnelly explained: “Pride is a powerful act of togetherness and I’m so glad to see so many Trinity students partaking in it.”
“We are still targeting key issues in the LGBTQ+ community like gender recognition, easier and more affordable access to PrEP, the MSM blood ban and the fight for marriage equality in Northern Ireland. It’s such a powerful statement of acceptance for all LGBTQ+ students at Trinity to see our college so well represented in this year’s parade,” continued Donnelly.
Trinity students joined the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to march as a student block in the Pride parade. Students are marching in celebration of their diversity and achievements. USI noted the power of students’ voices on activist issues, explaining that “this year, students were crucial in the repeal of the eighth amendment” and “won’t stop protesting until we achieve full equality within our society”.
Speaking to Trinity News at the march, USI President Síona Cahill said: “The reality is that Pride is much more than a celebration…It still very much is a protest around all of those rights that we still don’t have,” mentioning transgender healthcare and noninclusive sexual education. She added that it was “amazing” to see so many students participating in the Pride march this year.
The march was slow to begin, however, due to a vehicle breakdown on College Green. The vehicle broke down on Luas tracks this morning, causing a brief interruption to Luas services between Trinity and St. Stephen’s Green. Participants were due to gather at St. Stephen’s Green at noon.
The theme chosen by Dublin for this year’s Pride is “We Are Family.” Organisers made the decision after LGBTQ+ families were removed from pamphlets for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin later this summer, a Catholic event which Pope Francis will attend. Donnelly explained the strong sense of community at Pride today: “Trinity students are marching in the parade, represented by TCDSU and QSoc-Trinity LGBT, along with their friends, families and fellow students.”
Dublin has celebrated Pride for the last 35 years. The first Dublin Pride parade took place in 1983 following the murder of Declan Flynn. Flynn, a gay Irish man, was attacked and killed in Fairview Park in 1982.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. A State reception earlier this week commemorated the historic anniversary. Speaking at the event, Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) President Niall Behan, nephew of Declan Flynn, said: “Ireland has come a long way since the 1980s, and if Declan were alive today, he would be living in a much more inclusive society.”
Senator David Norris, an LGBTQ+ rights activist and Trinity alumnus, also spoke at the reception. Explaining how Irish society has become more accepting, Norris said that young people in Ireland “need no longer suffer under the ignominy of shame, guilt, and fear”.
Last week, the Irish government issued an apology to those impacted by the laws criminalising homosexuality prior to 1993. Speaking to the Seanad, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan offered an apology “to any person who felt the hurt and isolation created by those laws, and particularly to those who were criminally convicted by the existence of such laws.”