3 mins


by Adam Long, Board Director, National LGBT Federation (NXF)

We were delighted to use the occasion of the 2022 Dublin Pride Parade to unveil a new banner showcasing our rich legacy of campaigning dating back to 1979. The highlight of our Pride season was the return for the second year of our ‘Leaders Series’ where this author conducted in-depth interviews with An Taoiseach Micheal Martin and the Minister for Equality, Roderic O’Gorman. The homophobic killings of two men in Sligo brought the need for comprehensive hate crime legislation into even sharper focus, along with a well-documented rise in violent assaults targeting LGBTQ+ people, making the general sense of menace and anti-social behavior being felt even more acutely by our community.

The Taoiseach committed to his government advancing their Hate Crime Bill as a matter of priority at the beginning of the Autumn Oireachtas term and having it on the statute books by the end of the year. We welcomed the announcement a few weeks later by Minister McEntee of an updated Bill with more robust provisions. Indeed we have always been clear that any new law cannot suffer from the kinds of deficiencies that have characterised previous well-intentioned but ultimately toothless legislation in this area. The law must be enforced and enforceable and proactively tackle a type of ‘signal’ crime that doesn’t simply target individuals but entire communities.

The Taoiseach also agreed that the process of updating our 1990’s era RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) curriculum needs to be ‘accelerated’ and that no school can be allowed to ‘opt-out’ or render LGBTQ+ students invisible or worse. For his part, Minister O’Gorman also told me that a key plank of his updating of Irish equality legislation is to ensure that gender identity/expression will be explicitly enshrined and he expects these amendments to come into effect in 2023.

As the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty 2014 in particular makes clear, the State and its many agencies are not ‘neutral’ or ‘impartial’ when it comes to LGBTQ+ equality and indeed are required by law to visibly demonstrate progress. On the need to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of ‘conversion therapy’, Minister O’Gorman told me that work is being actively progressed to protect all LGBTQ+ people against this abuse. He provided reassurance that the call by his Department for survivors to come forward is not about whether the practice should be banned but rather to better inform the legislation that will be enacted.

The island of Ireland has been specifically cited in international reports as a location where this ‘therapy’ is being peddled and indeed the Minister told me how he has spoken directly with survivors who attest to its existence and the need for a fully LGBTQ+ inclusive law. Along with fellow members of the Coalition Against Conversion Practices, the NXF is also clear that there cannot be any loop-holes regarding erroneous notions of ‘consent’ or religious based opt-outs (prayer etc.) that would effectively allow what is a recognised form of torture to continue in practice.

Another notable feature of our ‘Leaders Series’ were the words from the Taoiseach regarding Trans rights. Micheal Martin said he was troubled by the toxic anti-Trans rhetoric that has become such a hallmark of the ‘debate’ in the UK, where their Tory Government has been weaponising the Trans community to fan-the-flames of their ‘culture wars’.
The Taoiseach was firmly of the view that Ireland must navigate these issues in a fundamentally different way and rather than ape the toxic discourse for which Britain has been formally reprimanded as ‘a country of concern’ by the Council of Europe, we should instead ensure that discussion takes place in an informed and respectful manner and where the focus is on understanding and supporting what is a particularly vulnerable community.

Two other developments for the NXF this Pride season: We were pleased to join the newly formed Trans Equality Coalition, launched by the Lord Mayor of Dublin in June. We were also delighted to be invited to attend Baltic Pride celebrations where this author chaired a ‘Proud Cities’ discussion featuring the Mayors of Vilnius, Oslo and Stockholm and also the Biden Administration’s LGBTQ+ rights Envoy.

The Russian war against Ukraine was not lost on any of us gathered in Vilnius and how the invasion represents a larger conflict between liberal democracy vs authoritarianism. We in the global LGBTQ+ community certainly have a vested interest in seeing the former prevail.

This article appears in 373

Go to Page View
This article appears in...
Go to Page View
Welcome, dear reader, to the August/September edition of GCN.
We were delighted to use the occasion of the 2022 Dublin Pride Parade to unveil a new banner showcasing our rich legacy of campaigning dating back to 1979.
Being queer means constantly questioning your identity and how you represent yourself to those around you, shares Leah Downey. There is a constant need to gauge the reactions of others, to understand if you are safe to be out or if it becomes a source of social isolation.
Up until the day she moved from Brazil to Ireland, Leticia Barbosa never really thought of herself as part of the Black community, but a new country brought about a new realisation of identity.
Sea Change
“My younger self always dreamed about traveling, so when I learned about a program that did internships abroad I knew this was my chance”, shares Olivia Fraser.
Scrambled Eggs & Androgyny My Genderqueer Story
Zayda Slabbekoorn shares her genderqueer story and her journey of self actualisation.
With the rise of campaigns against equality, Beatrice Fanucci takes a look at where funding for far-right groups comes from.
“I have experienced domestic abuse,” writes Val Hourican. “It’s taken me two years to write that down and sit with it. It’s a hurt I’ve worked through but it still sits there under the surface. The tension ready to break at any moment like a fish jumping out of water to avoid a predator...
An absorbing read full of twisted tenderness and atmospheric tension, Hawk Mountain, the debut novel by Conner Habib, is utterly compelling. He spoke to Lisa Connell on its journey to reality. Portraits by Hazel Coonagh.
Making A Move
Choreographer and performer Nick Nikolau dances through their memories in a daring solo show at DFF. Dissecting it with Oisín Kenny, they open up about the people, queer spaces, and club nights which breathed a euphoric life into their performance. The stunning images were captured by Hazel Coonagh.
After igniting a RIOT at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2016, THISISPOPBABY celebrates the act of letting go with a glittering Irish WAKE. Ahead of their new show, writer Oisín Kenny dives into this raucous meeting between club culture and Irish tradition
All Shook Up
“Think The Wizard of Oz meets Thelma and Louise with camp pop classics as our soundtrack,” says Candy Warhol when asked to give an elevator pitch to writer Chris Rooke for her upcoming Dublin Fringe Festival show The Wind That Shakes the Wig. The stunning photos featured are all by Eoin Greally
Writer Dylan Coburn Gray on the the process of making a show about adoption.
Roundup of Queer Dublin Fringe Festival Shows
Take a look at the queer side of the Dublin Fringe Festival...
Fostering with Five Rivers
We started our fostering journey over five years ago now. We always believed that we had something to offer...
When it comes to his body, Geraint Llewellyn prefers to disappoint people one at a time – so as a result he’s never stepped inside a sauna. And by sauna he doesn’t mean getting sweaty in Sweden being hit by sticks.
Giving Voice
A series of short video portraits of queer men will be screened in Outhouse on the evening of Friday 23 September. The people involved share a part of their stories, accompanied by a series of beautiful images from Babs Daly
Trans & Intersex Pride 2022: Shared Communities
During the recent Trans and Intersex Pride, a powerful speech by Mike, a Trans Traveller, was read aloud on his behalf. We are proud to share his powerful words and thank those involved for permission
Goodbye, My Friends
From early days as a team member all the way up to running the organisation, our beloved Managing Editor Lisa Connell will depart after an incredible 14 years in total with GCN
Looking for back issues?
Browse the Archive >

Previous Article Next Article
Page 5