Ten years ago, I was crammed in the back of a small car with my sister and her friend, driving to Punchestown race course to see our favourite rapper live in concert. During the drive down, we blasted the Marshall Mathers LP with the windows open, rapping along to all that vitriol. In my defence, he was super-talented. A further excuse is that I was 15. Eminem was rebellious because he used curse words and his CDs had parental advisory stickers. I won’t lie – his music was a vehicle for my teen angst. We knew that his lyrics were a bit off. Like he wasn’t serious about murdering those women right? He...he...that stuff was unreal. We didn’t read into it.
On Saturday 29th, Irish Feminist Network will be marching at Dublin’s 30th anniversary of the Pride parade for two important reasons- to celebrate everything bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay people have gained in Ireland as well as to still fight for the safety, dignity and rights of those who can’t fully live their lives in the gender and/or sexuality they are comfortable with both within this State and around the world.
Pride is the result of decades of hard work and solidarity by people who wanted social change to arrive in Ireland, not just overseas. That hard work is still being done today by various individuals and community groups.
It can’t be forgotten that same-sex relationships were banned up until 1993 and every year, there’s so many people who leave the country so that family and friends don’t know of their sexual / gender identity or have lost close ties to people they trusted when they came out to them. A lot of us still struggle with our gender or sexual identity either in the educational system, our culture, our religion, the region we reside in as well as other factors that makes it difficult for a lot of children and adults to just be who they are.
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