Flying the flag at Gay Pride

Fri, Jun 24, 2011, 01:00

ONE OF the biggest and brightest festivals in the country, Dublin Pride, has been simmering all week, but kicks off properly tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s parade is the pinnacle of 10 days of festivities, including walking tours of historic gay Dublin, a visit from Gilbert Baker, who designed the original and now ubiquitous rainbow flag, and club nights.

The Pride Parade begins at 2pm, when groups such as Marriage Equality, David Norris supporters, Dublin Pride Cycle, Alternative Miss Ireland, and other LGBTQ orgnaisations will travel in their tens of thousands across the city by float and on foot. The grand marshal this year is Michael Barron, co-founder of BeLonGTo, an organisation that works with young LGBTQ people.

Panti’s Proud Green Queen All Day Street Party takes over Pantibar and Capel Street tomorrow. Aross the Liffey, expect similar congestion around Parliament Street due to the Front Lounge’s all day party and an Al Fresco Electro Block Party at club night Mother in Copper Alley.

Dublin Pride began in 1983 as a one-day event to draw attention to the levels of violence against gays and lesbians, in particular the controversial suspension of sentences given to a gang found guilty of murdering 31-year-old gay man Declan Flynn in Fairview Park.

Two months later, the first Pride parade took place. Today, the parade starts at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square, and ends at the Civic Offices at Wood Quay where an outdoor post-parade family-friendly and alcohol-free event takes place with musical performances (hello, Crystal Swing) and gay community leaders addressing the crowd.

Later, cabaret performances, bands and DJs will take over the Purty Kitchen in Temple Bar for the official afterparty.–