[This letter was emailed to national LGBT advocacy organizations on Sept. 7 and 8, 2014.]
Dear LGBT advocacy organizations,
As we're sure you know, Irish LGBTQ groups have been fighting for inclusion in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade for over 20 years. Irish Queers (and its predecessor, the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, and other groups and allies) has suffered hundreds of arrests for civil disobedience, many years of protesting from the sidelines, and an endless history of enduring insults, threats and beer bottles thrown by parade participants and spectators. Brendan Fay and His Lavender and Green Alliance created a now much-respected and beloved St. Pat's for All inclusive parade in Queens.
Nothing has deterred us from showing up every year on Fifth Avenue and continuing to demand inclusion as Irish people and Irish-Americans in what should be our parade, too. Our annual exclusion is the subject of worldwide headlines every year.
Now the headlines have changed. But the war is not yet won. Parade organizers are trying to finesse their loss of major sponsors by offering a place in the line of march to an LGBTQ employee group from NBC (the parade broadcaster). Parade organizers did not discuss this with any of us, nor have they made a single move to include an actual Irish LGBTQ group.
So we are making formal application for inclusion in the 2015 Parade. We would like your support. We would like you to show up at our press conference on Tues., Sept. 9, at 9am on the steps of the NY Public Library at Fifth Ave. and 40th St. We would like you to contact the parade organizers to support our application.
And we would like you NOT to apply to march yourselves. This is an explicitly Irish heritage parade. That's why we should be included. Because we are groups of Irish LGBT people. This parade is unique. Unlike the LGBTQ Pride Parades or the Puerto Rican Day Parade or most others, this one does not welcome all comers. It's very closed and specific.
Please do not apply to march. Please support the application of Irish LGBTQ people to march.
Lavender and Green Alliance
St. Pat's for All