Date: March 17, 2016
Happy St. Patrick's Day from Irish Queers, making history together at the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade!
Irish Queers are delighted to be on this side of the barricades for once! We may be more at home with the circumstance than the pomp in this parade, but in this contingent we're surrounded by the NYC Irish LGBTQ community in celebration mode, which is a rare pleasure. It's also a sweet reunion of sorts, although many of us are missing: moved home to a much-changed Ireland, lost to AIDS and homophobia, or driven away by the sadness of too long a struggle. For those of us who have spent every St. Patrick's Day for the last quarter century in battle on Fifth Avenue, the bitterness is not swept away by a single day in the sun -- but today a very cold shadow lifts, and our future St. Patrick's Days are returned to us for celebration rather than protest.
Our marching is a celebration for the whole Irish community. We're joined here by supporters from the the Irish community, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising together -- a rebellion whose gift to Irish culture is a constant reference point for organizing ourselves in the face of powerful injustice, taking principled risks rather than playing it safe and wrong, setting our own terms, and refusing half-measures.
It's a celebration for the whole queer community, which is so widely familiar with bigoted figureheads collaborating with the religious right, courts, and public officials. We're especially proud to be joined here by friends from the Ugandan queer community (Freedom and Roam Uganda, the first lesbian empowerment organization in Uganda) recognizing the importance of this victory over cultural erasure; and by supporters from the many NYC LGBTQ communities who have turned out on Fifth Avenue with Irish Queers over the years.
To queer communities in Ireland, we shout a long-distance "go raibh mile maith agat" (not least for putting religious homophobia to a referendum, that was clever!) A special shout- out to our family in Queer Space Belfast, we adore you. Hope to see you all soon!
Irish Queers NYC
Contact: Emmaia (917) 517-3627, JF (212) 289-1101, or Gaby (718) 909-3956