Archived Meeting Announcements

We've switched to this blog for posting meeting announcements...
To see the old page, go here:

Archived Event Listings

Irish Queers has switched to this blog for posting our events, but you can still see old event listings by clicking here.

...And a few that aren't on that archive page are below.

July 2007

Fri. July 6

The Shondes @ Luna Lounge in Bklyn
Check back or call for details!

June 2007

Dyke March
Sat. June 23
5pm, Bryant Park
IQ dykes join the NYC Dyke March! call (212) 289-1101 in advance to meet up.

Dyke March for Boys
Sat., June 23
5:30, 21st St. at Fifth Ave. (sidelines of the Dyke March)
IQ boys will be cheering for the Dyke March & throwing lollies.

Sat. June 16
12-8pm, Baretto Point Park
Call JF at (212) 289-1101 or cell (914) 489-9204 to meet up for transportation (probably around 3pm.)

From Gay City News...

St. Pat's Politics in Queens, Manhattan

By: ANDY HUMM, 2/28/2008

The Irish parade season kicks off this Sunday, March 2, with the inclusive Queens St. Patrick's Day Parade led by grand marshals Christine Quinn, the out lesbian speaker of the City Council, and writer Pete Hamill. It starts at 2 p.m. at 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue (#7 train to 40th St./Lowery) and winds up at 61st Street and Woodside. For more information, go to

The Manhattan St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue on March 17 will be protested once again by Irish Queers with an action along the route at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, starting at 11 a.m. The parade, controlled by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), has refused Irish LGBT groups the chance to participate with their banners since the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, now defunct, applied in 1991. Then-Mayor David Dinkins let ILGO march with him that year. The gay marchers and the mayor were pelted with bottles and other abuse and ILGO and other openly LGBT groups have since been totally excluded.

Most major Democratic politicians, except for New York's two US senators, have honored a boycott of the Fifth Avenue parade. Quinn, who was arrested several times in protests against the exclusion but - like almost all elected officials - has not joined the picket in recent years, tried to broker a way for Irish LGBT folk to march when she first became speaker, but was decisively rebuffed. Her effort involved allowing marchers to participate with identifying gay sashes and buttons, a compromise approach Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers rejects, saying anything less than being allowed to march behind a banner would not do. "We're not going to be downgraded," Gelman said.

On the "Gay USA" TV show I co-host with Ann Northrop, Quinn, several weeks ago, said, "I'm going to keep fighting and keep boycotting until we can get past this." While she conceded she was not optimistic about a change under the current AOH leadership, she said, "When you talk to the leadership of these organizations one step below - the next round of folks who are going to take over - when they're in charge we'll get beyond this."

Gelman said, "We can't have a committee decide who is Irish."

In a release, Irish Queers called on Quinn to "stop giving cover to politicians who ignore the boycott - Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Michael Bloomberg among them - by standing with them everywhere but on Fifth Avenue and glossing over their decision to support religious-right homophobes."

Irish Queers wrote Quinn about their concerns and said that in her emailed response she reiterated her commitment not to march, but did not respond to the issues they raised.


Save these dates......

  • Well, first there's our protest on March 17th.
  • St. Pat's for All is this Sunday. Assembly will begin at 1pm and step off is at 2pm at 43 Street & Skillman Ave. in Sunnyside, Queens. Directions: Take the 7 to 40th Street Station. Walk west to 43rd Street and then turn north to Skillman Avenue.
  • Next Tuesday night (3/3) Irish Queers will be holding a planning meeting at The Center at 8pm.
  • Eileen Myles will be reading at the Telephone Bar and Grill on Thursday March 6th at 8pm.

  • On March 22nd Jews for Racial and Economic Justice will be hosting a Purim Spectacular Party. A group is working together to create a Purim play on Housing, Gentrification and Homelessness...it's gonna be great! For more information or to RSVP, click here.


Irish Voice: "Irish Queers press Quinn on march"

Feb. 27, 2008click to enlarge

Irish community: no bigots need apply.

Here's the flyer that went out to people attending the big pre-parade event last weekend.

What is with the NYC Irish community, which is chock full of progressives, sitting back and letting the conservative loonies run the show?

I never realized how far to the right of other Irish American communities New York is until I spent some time in Boston... not that the Boston Irish community puts out such a progressive vibe either. But Irish immigrants there, particularly immigration activists, seemed pretty stunned by the racism, religious conservatism and general backwardness they saw coming out of NYC. And they seemed to feel just as steamrolled by it as Irish progressives in New York. Kind of an eye-opener about what a choke-hold the religious right has on Irish NYC -- I'd really started to believe the @#$%^ they were putting out about Irish identity.


Supporting St. Pat's for All

This Friday, St. Pat's for All will be hosting a fundraiser at the Irish Arts Center. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. As the only inclusive St. Patrick's Day in New York City, it is very important for Irish LGBT and progressive folks to support this event.

I attended my first St. Pats for All in 2004 when I moved to New York, and I have to say that it was the first St. Patrick's Day Parade that I have ever attended where I felt at home. The parade is made up of a diverse set of community groups, unlike the Manhattan parade which consists of endless contingents of politicians, police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. There are no tanks or guns on display in Queens, just Irish American culture, in all of its diversity. The event also has an explicitly anti-racist message which is sadly another element that you would never see as an integral part of most St. Patrick's Day parades.

St. Pat's for All is an Irish parade that we can all feel good about, so come join us this Sunday in Queens. Our group is not marching, but we will be mingling on the sidelines and enjoying all the festivities. For more information, click here. Also, check out this recent article on the parade.

'Tis the St. Patrick's Day season.......

.....and Irish Queers are shaking things up for the 17th year in a row. Here is our latest Press Advisory:

As Council Speaker Quinn fades out of challenge to NYC St. Patrick’s parade, Irish Queers press her for commitments

Irish Queers submitted a request for clarification to NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn last week (excerpts below) charging the Speaker with wooing both sides of the St. Patrick’s Day parade issue – both Irish and other gay activists, and conservative and church-linked Irish American power brokers. The letter requested that Speaker Quinn make clear her position on the parade, its organizers, and her willingness to provide meaningful support to progressive sectors of the NYC Irish community who oppose the religious right, and homophobia.

Speaker Quinn has not replied to Irish Queers with any commitments of support, nor any answers to questions about her activities in the Irish American community – although on Gay USA, a national cable television program, she claimed last week that she didn’t know she was joining NYC Parade Committee chair John Dunleavy for a posed photograph at a United Irish County Associations dinner.

Irish Queers plans to protest the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade, which explicitly excludes Irish LGBT people unless they remain closeted. In the last decade, the Parade Committee has transformed the march into a 'religious procession' and has re-branded itself to include an anti-gay message. The protest will take place at 57th Street and 5th Avenue, beginning at 11am on March 17th.

[Our letter to Christine Quinn from February 19, 2008]

…You’ve stood with us in the past, but in the last few years we’ve seen you wooing both conservative Irish American figures and the LGBT community, showing each a different face. In 2006, we saw you attempting to strike a deal with parade organizers without talking to groups organizing against the parade’s homophobia. In 2007, we saw you marching in Dublin and talking about queer rights, yet we don’t see you at home talking about queer rights in front of the Irish American community… we’ve seen you support the NYPD without making any challenge to violent, politicized policing of queers and others. We heard you entertain the idea of inviting Ian Paisley, renowned racist and homophobe, to lead the NYC parade. So far in 2008, we’ve seen you mingling with anti-gay parade organizer John Dunleavy, and retreating from progressives in the LGBT community. We know you’re planning to join in the inclusive Queens parade, but we also know you’re aware that the eyes of the world – and the Irish community – are on Fifth Avenue.

Redelineate the boycott on the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade. Stop giving cover to politicians who ignore the boycott – Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Michael Bloomberg among them – by standing with them everywhere but on Fifth Avenue and glossing over their decision to support religious-right homophobes. Don’t photo-op with the NYC St. Patrick’s Parade Committee and other supporters of the parade as if they’re lovely people who just happen to run an annual anti-gay public spectacle. Say out loud that those who march in the parade are joining in an event whose message is explicitly anti-gay, and hold them to account for their actions.

Demand that the city stop participating in the parade. Tell other city officials that they must not march – and if they do, impose political consequences on them. If cops and firefighters want to march, tell them they shouldn’t be representing the city in uniform.

Support the Irish queers and progressives who are doing this work. Stop being somewhere else on the day of the parade – turn up on the picket line. Don’t stand in for Irish queers in discourse about the parade with politicians, media, business groups and others. Instead, support grassroots voices to be heard by encouraging people to talk to Irish queers and progressives themselves.

Show that Irish queers are an integral part of the New York Irish community. Actively include secular Irish queers in official City Council celebrations of Irish community. Create opportunities for Irish New York to support and celebrate the accomplishments of Irish queers; don’t tack us on as an afterthought.

Don’t undermine queers and progressives in Ireland. Don’t stand with unrepentant bigots like Ian Paisley and propose that their targets – whether queers, Catholics or Irish republicans – should embrace those who attack us.


They call him "Wacko" for a reason........

"We aren't scared to do things that aren't fitting to, say, 'peace on earth' and all that," said John "Wacko" Hurley, who organizes the parade for the Allied War Veterans of South Boston. "We all want peace, but our obligation is supporting the armed forces. So, nope, we don't have any problems with that."

(From this Boston Globe article titled, Calendar Collision for Irish Catholics: St. Pat's Day vs. Holy Week.)

That is the wisdom of Wacko, the Hurley of Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston homophobic fame. This is also the same dude that denied the Boston Veterans for Peace from marching in the Southie parade last year. So apparently in Boston, the St. Pat's Parade is at its core a military parade, not a Catholic or Irish parade. So listen up, Irish folks.....from Hurley's mouth, to the Boston Globe, to the rest of the world: the U.S. military is far greater than God & the Holy Catholic Church.

I'm sure Wacko could care less about getting justice for Ciara Durkin and her family.

Protest @ the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade

Bigotry isn't Irish -- resistance is!
Fight the Religious Right!

March 17, 2008
57th St. & Fifth Ave.

Join Irish Queers in protesting against NYC's St. Patrick's Day display of homophobia, hate, militarism and the takeover of Irish identity by right-wing nuts.

For info: 917-517-3627 or 914-489-9204


News from all over the Irish Diaspora....

  • "It would be better if condoms were sold VAT free. They are not luxury items, they are essential in reducing rates of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies." This quote comes from Audrey Simpson of the Irish Family Planning Association. I'd also like to add that CONDOMS SAVE LIVES in addition to reducing rates of STIs and unwanted pregnancies. After pressure from activists, the Irish Republic reduced the VAT (value added tax) on condoms from 21% to 13.5%. The cost of condoms in Ireland is one of the highest in the EU. For more information, click here.

  • Good news for trans folks in the Republic of Ireland.....The High Court in Dublin declared that Irish birth registration laws are in conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights. This decision stems from the case of Dr. Lydia Foy, a dentist that was denied a birth certificate that described her as female. For the full article, click here. We will keep an eye on this case.

  • Speaking of this American notion that Irish LGBT people don't exist, check out QueerSpace Belfast and GLYNI (Gay and Lesbian Youth Northern Ireland) on YouTube.


News Items.....

  • "The most vehement discrimination that most young gay people will ever encounter will be within their own families." Yeah, we know....we have stood out in the cold on Fifth Avenue for 16 years having people that look just like our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc. hurl homophobic insults at us. This quote comes from an Irish Independent article called "Homosexuality is a family matter." To read the full article, click here.

  • “You can change your mind and your heart, you can progress. If you’re from an immigrant background you can see that discrimination needs to be stopped in its tracks wherever it’s found.” This quote comes from Stephen Dunne, the Irish immigrant from Massachusetts that sued the Massachusetts State Bar Association last June for $9.75 million for including a gay marriage question on the exam. (He failed the exam by one question.) The Irish Voice recently spoke with Mr. Dunne on his transition from calling same-sex marriage “morally repugnant and patently offensive” last year to now where he "started seeing the parallels with regard to the discrimination that Irish people experienced when they first came to America and the discrimination that gay people face now." To read the full article, click here.

Irish Queers Folks......An Raibh tú ag an gCarraig?

Calling all Queers of Irish descent in the NYC area......come to the rock! An Raibh tú ag an gCarraig is Irish for "Were you at the rock?" and it dates back to the Penal Laws devised by British colonizers that made going to mass illegal (amongst other things). Going to "the rock" was an act of resistance, and it is time for us to celebrate the Irish history we know that fights oppression and champions resistance against all odds. We can't let the Hibernian's assimiliationist, repressive, patriarchal, reactionary, (the list could go on and on) twisted version of Irishness and Irish history go unchallenged.

IQ will be meeting weekly until St. Patrick's Day. Our next meeting is tomorrow night.....e-mail us for the location.


Our Next Meeting

Come to our next meeting on our new day & time! Join us this Tuesday @ 8pm @ the Center (click here for directions) to plan this year's parade protest and talk about other issues of Irish & Queer interest. See you there!

Updates, News, Announcements

Last Friday was the Saint/Goddess Brigid's Feast Day. Brigid was my kind of girl.....she ran off on her dad when he tried to make her get married, she liked to travel, and she liked art and books and stuff. But most importantly, she was a feminist and she fought against injustice. I read this essay once that implied that maybe she was a big lez....it made me smile.

The fate of Pier 40 will be decided in March. Stay tuned.

Check out this story Gays and grays -- so happy together about the Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco's Castro.

Ógra Shinn Féin wants to lobby and campaign for free condoms and comprehensive sex education. Rock on!

This week is Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) in New York City beginning Feb. 4th through the 10th. It's a weeklong series of events held concurrently in many cities around the world to raise awareness of Israel Apartheid and gather support for the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign called for by more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations in July 2005. For a listing of events, click here.