LIMERICK LGBT News

LIMERICK LGBTI PRIDE 2016 NEWS

A Day in May photograph exhibition

a day in may

A Day in May photograph exhibition will launch in The Belltable, 69 O’Connell Street on Monday July 11 from 6pm-7.30pm and remains open to the public until July 15 to coincide with Limerick LGBTI Pride.

On May 23 2015 the people of Ireland made history by becoming the first country in the world to pass same sex marriage by popular vote. The joyous scenes from across Ireland and Dublin Castle, as the historic vote was declared, made headlines across the globe.

But more than anything else the May 2015 vote was about changing the ‘Real Lives’ of the largest minority of people in Ireland: the LGBT Community.

Charlie Bird, distinguished RTE broadcaster travelled the length and breadth of Ireland to record the moving stories of some 80 people impacted by the Marriage Equality referendum. 52 stories and personal photographs are combined in the ‘A Day in May’ book published by Merrion Press.

Featuring stunning portraits by leading Irish photographers: Karl Hayden, Tristan Hutchinson, John Minihan (famous for his portraits of Samuel Beckett), Peter MacMenamin, John McColgan of Riverdance fame and Kate Nolan.

Included in the portraits are Limerick locals Sharon Slater, Jenny Hannon and Caroline Steward, all of whom shared their story in the specially produced book A Day In May by Charlie Bird – a poignant record to be read by everyone, gay and straight alike. The portraits compliment the voices on paper to powerful effect, amplifying the life-affirming impact of the day in May 2015 when Ireland said Yes to Equality.

All proceeds from the sale of the book are going to suicide awareness and prevention. The event is organized by Yes Equality Limerick and supported by Limerick LGBTI Pride and GOSSH.

“…these stories collected by Charlie Bird, filled with bracing honesty and heart-breaking personal revelation, make clear that being gay in Ireland was perhaps a more essential aspect of Irish history and Irish reality than anyone was aware.”
Colm Tóibín

Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal

Dublin Pride 2016

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Cian Reinhardt.

Broden Giambrone, Chief Executive for Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) has been announced as the Grand Marshal of the Limerick LGBTI Pride Parade 2016.

Broden grew up in Toronto, Canada and in his late teens transitioned from female to male before attending McGill University, Montreal where he studied a BA in Sociology and has received a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from

the University of Toronto. He then went to Brighton in the UK where he studied an advanced course in International Health, before moving to Dublin where he is now the Chief Executive of TENI.

This year’s Limerick Pride theme is #UnitedColoursofLimerick, and Mr Giambrone, spoke to I Love Limerick about why it was an honour and privilege to be the first trans Grand Marshal of Limerick Pride, “I believe that this will put a spotlight on the trans community and the inclusiveness of the LGBTI community. It is an opportunity to show the diversity of the LGBTI community and is very positive in terms of visibility for the transgender community.”

Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal pictured at Dublin Pride 2016.

Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal pictured at Dublin Pride 2016.

Broden added how coming out as trans in Toronto was difficult, but because he was in a large city with resources and others for support, it made it easier. Comparing his experience in Toronto to the current situation in Ireland, Broden said, “I think in Ireland there are pockets, whether it is Dublin, Limerick, Galway or Waterford where coming out can be a positive experience and there are places where it’s not.” By having a trans Grand Marshal, Broden believes this could highlight the need for supports in areas of Ireland that are lacking.

In 2015, Ireland saw the Marriage Equality Referendum passed as well as a Bill on Gender Recognition; Broden said that although these are welcome changes and are massive steps in LGBTI history in Ireland there is still a lot to be done. Mr Giambrone says there is a need for hate-crime legislation, increased supports nationally and the revision of the Gender Recognition Act to include all members of the trans community.

“More broadly increased positive visibility is what we need, that is what changes people’s views. Legislation is important but we need to show that, as trans people, we are part of Irish society, we are your siblings, your co-workers, your friends, we are your family. We are one element, one aspect of human diversity.”

Pride festivals are a celebration of history, community and acceptance said Broden, who also believes it is the perfect platform to educate society on the LGBTI community, “A lot of people at Pride come from within the community, but y

Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal pictured at Dublin Pride 2016.

Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal will lead Limerick Pride Parade 2016 on July 16.

ou also get a lot of friends, families and allies coming as well, so it is the perfect platform to be talking about these issues and the diversity of the LGBTI community.”

Often people speak of the negative elements of being LGBTI to highlight the struggles and the changes that are needed to improve the situation. Broden believes the #UnitedColoursofLimerick theme focuses on the positive aspects of inclusion and diversity. “Being trans is part of the human condition, we should be able to accept that and celebrate it like we do all diversities. Positive visibility is a big part; supporting people in being able to live true to who they are.”

Limerick Pride will launch on Monday, July 11 at Stroker’s Gay Bar on William Street and run until Sunday, July 17, with Broden Giambrone First Limerick Pride Trans Grand Marshal at Limerick Pride Parade on Saturday, July 16 with Broden Giambrone as this year’s Grand Marshal.

Limerick LGBT Pride raise funds for Limerick Marine Search and Rescue

Lisa Daly Chairperson of Limerick Pride and Sharon Richardson Ms. Gay Congeniality 2015 presenting their fundraising check for the Limerick LGBTI community to Ken Moore, Kieran Goodison and Karen Keehan of Limerick Marine Search & Rescue. Picture: Steve Murray

Lisa Daly Chairperson of Limerick Pride and Sharon Richardson Ms. Gay Congeniality 2015 presenting their fundraising check for the Limerick LGBTI community to Ken Moore, Kieran Goodison and Karen Keehan of Limerick Marine Search & Rescue. Picture: Steve Murray

A number of Limerick LGBTI Pride fundraising events took place in the last month in aid of Limerick Marine Search and Rescue including a ‘Play with Pride’ fun charity football match, a club night at Milk nightclub and a quiz night in Strokers Gay Bar and over €1,000 was raised for the charity.

Lisa Daly, Chairperson of Limerick LGBTI Pride committee tells me, “We chose to support Limerick Marine Search and Rescue as they are a key part in tracing missing people in Limerick. They give so much to the people of Limerick and we wanted to give back to them. The River Shannon is the lifeforce of Limerick and this organisation keeps it safe for all of us. This year Limerick LGBT Pride is about supporting all communities in Limerick, as ultimately we are all one, that is why our hashtag for the Pride Festival this year is #UnitedColoursofLimerick.”

Limerick LGBTI Community honour Orlando victims with candlelight vigils

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The Limerick LGBTI Community honoured the victims of the Orlando shootings with two separate candlelight vigils. One vigil took place at the Treaty Stone last Monday night, while a second happened last Wednesday evening in Arthur’s Quay Park.

Monday’s vigil was organised by  Eileen O Brien, Breandán Ó hÉamhaigh and Billie. People gathered at the Treaty Stone on Clancy Strand on Monday evening holding rainbow flags and signs stating ‘We are Orlando’, plus ‘Pulse’, the name of the nightclub where the atrocity happened over the weekend. There was a minute silence held to remember, reflect or to pray for those affected by the violence in the attack.

Richard Lynch organised the second vigil in Arthurs Quay Park last Wednesday, which was also Irish AIDS Day, with help from Tom Walsh of HearIt.ie who provided the sound and Louise McCormack and Lisa Daly, two amazing ladies who are on this year’s Limerick Pride Committee.

We encouraged those attending to spread the word, to bring a candle if possible and to bring rainbow colours, flags or paint so the Limerick LGBTI Community could honour Orlando victims in a way that would be colourful and memorable.

More than 250 Limerick people gathered for the vigil to show solidarity not just for the LGBT community in Orlando who experienced this hate crime, but for everybody who has been affected by acts of terror, violence or oppression in their lives.

The Unity Gospel Choir Limerick led the music, each member bearing letters to read the three words ‘We Are Orlando’. A moment of silence was observed in memory of the 49 people who lost their lives, and the choir then sang ‘Something Inside So Strong.’

LGBTI people gather in places such as clubs to share love and camaraderie with people. For someone to come in and destroy that and violate it was such a despicable act. But we cannot let the haters win, and we ain’t going to let the haters win.

This year the theme of the Limerick Pride Festival is #UnitedColoursofLimerick and we are asking everyone to come and show their support for the Limerick LGBTI community at the Limerick Pride Parade on Saturday July 16.

Limerick LGBT Pride Fundraising Day for Limerick Marine Search and Rescue

Limerick Marine Search and Rescue

Members of Limerick LGBT Pride with Karen Keehan and Mark O Brien, volunteers with Limerick Marine Search and Rescue at the launch of the ‘Play with Pride’ Fun Charity Match. Picture: Johnny Baynes/ilovelimerick.

Limerick LGBT Pride Fundraising Day is taking place on Saturday May 21 with a fun filled afternoon of activities. Limerick LGBT Pride decided to mark Mental Health Awareness Month and also the first anniversary of the Marriage Equality “Yes Vote” and with three amazing events in one evening to raise much needed funds for Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.

The first event on the agenda is the ‘Play with Pride’ Fun Charity Match, which kicks off in Summerville Rovers at 6pm. This 7-aside match will be like no other you’ve seen before with local drag queens as referees and cheerleaders. There’s set to be loads of laughs for the spectators! Teams who are entering are encouraged to dress in whatever they like as it’s all for an inspirational cause and just a bit of fun! It is €5 to enter per player and a maximum of 10 players per team can enter, with 7 on the pitch and 3 subs. All spectators are encouraged to donate as little as €2 as all proceeds will be going to Limerick Marine, Search and Rescue.

Lisa Daly, Chairperson of Limerick LGBT Pride committee said, “We chose to support Limerick Marine Search and Rescue as they are a key part in tracing missing people in Limerick. They give so much to the people of Limerick and we wanted to give back to them. The River Shannon is the lifeforce of Limerick and this organisation keeps it safe for all of us. This year Limerick LGBT Pride is about supporting all communities in Limerick, as ultimately we are all one, that why our hashtag for the Pride Festival this year is #UnitedColoursofLimerick.”

The night doesn’t stop there, following the ‘Play with Pride’ Fun Charity Match and trophy presentation by a special guest, all players and spectators are invited to Strokers bar where there will be finger food, spot prizes for best-dressed and best player and a raffle. There will also be a few words said by the organizers of the evening and a member of staff from Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.

After all the fun, food and games the Limerick Pride Fundraising Day will end in an all night dance party which they’ve named “Sealed with a Kiss” in Club Milk at 11pm. Anyone who is attending is invited to wear all white as it’s a UV party so you’ll stand out in the crowd! All money collected at the door will be donated to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue as well as Belong to Youth Services.

This is set to be a really great afternoon and night filled with loads of laughs and giggles as well as raising loads of money for the phenomenal Limerick Marine Search and Rescue. We hope to see you all there!

This years Limerick LGBT Pride Festival takes place from Monday July 11 to Sunday July 17 with the Pride Parade taking place on Saturday July 16.

Check out the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Facebook

Patrick James, Winner of Voice of Ireland 2015 to headline PrideFest2016

Patrick James, Winner Voice of ireland 2015. Picture: Sarah Doyle.

Patrick James, Winner Voice of ireland 2015. Picture: Sarah Doyle.

3pm – 6pm:  PRIDEFEST 2016 at The Hunt Museum

PRIDEFEST 2016 feat Paul Ryder and guests – a showcase of LGBT Culture in Limerick that you will not want to miss with your host Paul Ryder!

Showcase of local LGBT culture in Limerick in a lavish marquee in the museum gardens with host Paul Ryder. Special guests Hands in Harmony Deaf Community Choir and back by popular demand Patrick James, Voice of Ireland 2015 winner. Limerick legend, actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen will be holding his annual tea dance, which for many is a highlight of the festival.

He will be performing his first official single “Redemption Days” from The Voice of Ireland 2015 winner Patrick James Donoghue. It’s been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster for the Dubliner, who was the clear favourite throughout the show as his incredible voice had the backing of all four coaches.

“As sad as it sounds, I have watched The Voice results over and over just to remind myself that I actually did win it. I still find that hard to believe,” Patrick explains. We look forward to seeing him do his thing at PrideFest!!


LIMERICK LGBTI PRIDE NEWS 2015

Limerick Garda Station flies flag for Pride & Equality

limerick rodie flag at garda station

Pictured: Sinéad Galvin, Killian Fitzgerald, PRO Limerick Pride 2015, Richard Lynch, ILoveLimerick.com, Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan, Lisa Daly, Chairperson Limerick Pride 2015 and Cara Leahy. Picture & text by: Frances Fitzgerald/ILoveLimerick.

Limerick Garda station flies pride flag for equality once again outside its headquarters on Henry Street in a symbol of support and solidarity with Limerick’s gay community.

Chief Superintendent David Sheahan of the Henry Street Garda station said: “What we are trying to achieve is to create awareness and to show our support for the LGBT community with flying the flag. We’re trying to get the message out there that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Luckily there is a lot more tolerance today than in the past. Every parade we’ve looked over so far has been jovial, a bit of fun and resonates with people in the community. We’re only happy to be able to support the LGBT community in Limerick.”

The Henry St station became the first in Ireland in 2014 to fly a pride flag in a show of support for those involved in the Limerick Pride Festival, the parade and everyone in the LGBT community. The pride will take place on Sat, July 18, passing the station proudly displaying the flag, promoting a sense of “Equality, Love, Diversity and Celebration.”

Those organising this year’s festival are thrilled to once again have the support of the Henry Street station, hoping that their accepting behaviour will pave the way for many more Garda stations to in turn show their support with future Pride festivals throughout the country. Richard Lynch of ILoveLimerick.com tells me, “ I felt it was important to fly the flag at the Garda station again this year in the hope of making it an annual show of support and solidarity between the Garda, the LGBT community and the people of Limerick. Its symbolic of a new equal Ireland, one where love is proud and flying free, like the flag itself.”

Richard is also thrilled that the Pride flags are once again proudly flying on the Shannon and Thomond Bridges in Limerick adding, “A huge thank you to the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau for sponsoring the flags and to Limerick City & County Council and Failte Ireland for sponsoring to put them up.”

As well as offering their support, Gardaí have dedicated a number of community officers to those who are a part of the LGBT community. Gardaí are also promoting safety and are encouraging people to report any homophobic or potentially homophobic behaviour and incidents during the parade and afterwards.

Homophobic acts cannot be addressed if the Garda Síochána are not made aware and members of the public are asked to come forward with any such issues. Speaking about this responsibility of the public, David Sheahan said: “We are trying to give people confidence to come forward if members of the community are suffering from either abuse, violence or threatening behaviour. We want people in the community to know that we have a listening ear. We are prepared to listen and we are prepared to deal with every issue that may come our way.”

A member of the Henry Street Garda station has been appointed as the LGBT liaison and is available at henry_street_community@garda.ie.

#LoveisLove

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On June 26 2015, the US Supreme Court made history when they finally handed down a 5-4 decision that says state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, and thereby affirmed the right of every U.S. citizen to marry, regardless of the gender of their spouse.

Limerick Pride New Logo Design by Aladdin Kishk!

Limerick LGBT Pride Festival 2015

The countdown to Limerick Pride Festival officially began with the press launch at Dolans in Limerick City on Monday June 29.

At the launch,  Lisa Daly, Limerick Pride Committee said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer a fantastic line up for Limerick Pride 2015, running from Tuesday July 14 until Sunday July 19. There is something for everyone culminating in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday July 18 and the PrideFest party directly after the Parade. We want to welcome everyone to join us in celebrating LGBT culture in Limerick and show Limerick for the truly open and accepting city that she is. It is set to build on the success and positive energy of previous years festivals, promoting community spirit, community engagement and celebration. This past year the Irish LGBT community has received resounding support from the wider Irish community in their support of equal rights and marriage equality so this will be reflected in this year’s Pride Parade. We will celebrate our freedom and the opportunity we have been given as a community to develop the concept of the family unit within our community.”

Jerry O’Dea, newly appointed Mayor of Metropolitan District of Limerick, showed his support for the LGBT movement at the launch, adding: “In previous years, people who have participated in Pride have felt that this annual event was their only time to be truly express themselves. Since the passing of the marriage referendum, Ireland’s LGBT population has been joined by the wider population in celebration.“

The Limerick Pride Festival 2015 will be taking place starting on Tuesday July 14 with events each day until Sunday July 19 and will feature a multitude of events, from educational workshops and discussions to evenings of music and club nights, to cater to the Pride needs of everyone.

This year’s Pride will have an educational aspect. Workshops will be held during the week covering topics such as a Coming Out, Sexual Empowerment and social groups for people of all ages, orientations and genders. All will be welcome to the workshops regardless of their sexual orientation giving the people of Limerick City an opportunity to get to know the Limerick LGBT community more and everyone is encouraged to get involved.

For the first time ever, The Mr and Ms Gay Limerick competition on Saturday July 11 will be held before the Limerick Pride festival at the Best Western Pery Hotel at 9pm, hosted by Paul Ryder with Regina George taking to the decks once the winners have been crowned to entertain us with the best party music around. Tickets are priced at €10.

Limerick Pride’s official Launch night on Tuesday July 14 will be in “Stroker’s Gay Bar” on William Street with champagne, finger food and dance floor musical treats.

The ‘Pride Wedding Show’, a wedding fair established in 2014 as part of Limerick Pride Festival, will take place on Wednesday, July 15, at the Limerick Strand Hotel. Sharon McMeel, an award winning wedding planner, said about the fair: “We’ll have different suppliers and vendors there, so all couples regardless of their sexual orientation will have a good opportunity to get answers to their important questions if they are considering getting married. With the historic ‘Yes’ vote this year for the marriage referendum, we actually had many engagements on the day of the referendum. It’s great to be able to look out for all the people who have gotten newly engaged.”

The annual Pride Parade on Saturday July 18, will bring some extra colour and music to Limerick City Centre, gathering at City Hall at 2pm, the Parade will make its way at 3pm up O’Connell Street, across Mallow Street to Henry Street, past Arthurs Quay Park and returning to City Hall. Then everyone will go to the Orchard Bar for PrideFest 2015 feat Paul Ryder and guests – a showcase of LGBT Culture in Limerick that you will not want to miss with your host Paul Ryder! With special guests Patrick James, Winner of Voice of Ireland 2015, Limerick singing sensation Niall O Halloran & Retro Gospel Fushion Choir.

This years Grand Marshall will be none other than Limerick legend, actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen! Myles has been a stanch advocate of LGBT rights for decades and in 2009 as part of Limerick Pride, staged his play “Language UnBecoming a Lady”, telling the story of one gay man’s life in Limerick and it left a profound effect on audiences in Limerick. Now as Myles is about to take the play to New York in September, it is fitting that he leads the community in their walk through the streets of Limerick celebrating their freedom and newfound equal rights. Myles said: “ I am beyond honoured to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of this years Parade. Growing up in Limerick in the 70’s and 80’s, I never dreamed of one day leading a Parade through the streets of my beloved hometown in celebration of equal human rights for the LGBT community. It’s a dream come through and I feel my life has come full circle. I hope everyone comes out to help me celebrate!”

That night after Pridefest, the main “Climax Party” at Dolan’s Warehouse, will feature “Dragged Up” star Paul Ryder and guests Pixie Woo and Victoria Secret performing their colorful show full of energy and movement, followed by DJ Ruth on the main floor and a “Saved by the 90’s” party upstairs.

A full line-up for Pride week can be found at www.LimerickPride.ie with updates at www.facebook.com/limerickpride. Tag your photos and comments about this years Pride with #ExpressYourselfLimerick.

For media inquires contact Chair@LimerickPride.ie.