This past Saturday we celebrated Pride here in Dublin and, let me say, I have never seen the city quite like this. Some have described it as “Paddy’s Day without the tourists” and I don’t think that’s too far off – it felt like the whole city was out in full regalia, dancing and laughing. I had just crawled out of bed in a sour mood, but the energy and confidence exuded by everyone in the parade was so contagious it could have cheered the grinch.
Everyone had turned out the for parade: sports teams sponsored by The George (one of the big gay clubs in Dublin), local LGBTQ+ social groups (including my favorite, Out & About, the gay hiking club), and every big tech company from the Silicon Docks. It was a lot of young people, but I saw families and older people there too – even a couple of jovial dogs were dressed for the occasion. It was also a freakin’ blast to be a photographer at the parade because everyone was ready for their close up. Usually I feel a little weird about taking photos of strangers, but everyone at Pride was a total model.
So, here’s the part I’m a little embarrassed about: this was actually the first Pride parade I’ve ever been to. I’ve always tried to be a good ally to the LGBTQ+ community, but after seeing Dublin’s parade I feel like all these years I’ve really missed out on this opportunity to celebrate an incredible group of people. In the wake of Orlando and on the first anniversary of the legalization of gay marriage in my home country and here in Ireland, I felt like skipping Pride was not an option this year and I can’t see myself missing out in the future, either. If I’m not a visible and vocal ally, no one is going to do that for me. I think sometimes I’m so afraid of not doing the right thing because the world is so politically correct that I don’t do anything. But it’s a lack of action that allows horrible tragedies like Orlando to happen. I want to do better and do more.
I know writing a blog post and putting up some photos isn’t going to change the world, but I did want to share a little bit of what Dublin Pride looked like: the energy, the fun, the sexiness, the joy. That even as terror and hate are spread against this community around the world, that does not diminish their love or their pride. I was so touched by how many American flags I saw throughout the parade – to feel that a tragedy in my home is a tragedy in their home, as well. I hope that someday it is that love and solidarity that cuts through all the bullshit and hate speech happening right now and we remember that our differences are what make us strong, not divided.
On a lighter note, this is probably the most colorful collection of photos I’ve ever taken, even though it was a typical grey day in Dublin. Just goes to show that the people really do make this city what it is. 😊