Gallery: Pride and joy as Cork parade the biggest in event’s history – Echo Live
5 August 2019 NEWS
COUPLES, best friends, parents with LGBT+ children, and families all gathered among the colourful masses for Cork Pride today.
An estimated 15,000 people took to the streets of the city for the Cork LGBT+ Pride Parade.
Festival chair Clive Davis confirmed that the parade — a sea of magical floats, music, and mayhem, sequinned drag queens, glitter-covered guys and girls, families, friends and allies — was the largest ever.
Graham Craig Ruth, from Jacob’s Island, is getting married in the Triskel next week to his partner Greg Bradyl.
“This is my first Pride event ever. I am here because of the acceptance. Ten years ago in school, I was labelled as a freak. Now, here today, everyone is accepted and proud to be who they are. All walks of life come together.
“Our generation is raising their kids to be more accepting; there are kids here all around, they are growing up with a good mindset. We are the future generation and this is the way it is going to be.”
Amanda and her son Cavan Tynan, from Midleton, have been attending Cork Pride together for the last three years, since Cavan came out as gay.
“I come every year for the last three years,” Amanda said. “My son is gay and this is the one time of the year that everyone comes out in support of the LGBT community, especially LGBT teens, because they have a hard enough life without discrimination.
“It is just nice for everyone to get together and be who they are and show their support.”
Cavan, 17, marched last year: “It shows how far Ireland as a country has come to show that we can actually just walk through the street with pride,” he said.
Couple Stephen Doyle, 25, and Micheal O’Brien, 28, have been supporting Cork Pride for the past five or six years and say it is getting bigger and better every year. “It is not just the week, it is all year-round. Pride is just to kind of reinforce and remind people that this is still an issue that needs more attention. For us, it is a day-to-day thing.”
Best friends Jasmine Clarke, 17, who is gay and Rose Creagh, 18, who is bisexual, said they support Cork Pride because it is important for the community to come out and represent each other and show solidarity.
“I attend to show young people that are here support and show them that it is totally ok to be gay,” said Jasmine. Rose said it is a great day out: “It is nice and lively; there is a good atmosphere. It is about being with my friends, being accepted, and being proud of your own sexuality.”
The theme for this year’s parade was ‘Stonewall: 50 Years Proud’, marking 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York and the birth of the Pride movement.
Today’s parade featured a gay rights artefact — an original Gilbert Baker rainbow flag.
Baker, who designed the rainbow flag, created a special mile-long version of it in 1994 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Stonewall. The flag was carried by 5,000 people through New York and a section of it was a feature of the Cork parade.
Today’s parade was led by members of the transgender community who are campaigning for better healthcare and legal recognition for all members of the trans community.
The joint grand marshals were Sara Phillips and Noah Halpin. The parade was supported by all major political parties, as well as a range of community groups.