In the past week we heard a lot from people from all sides of our community regarding Dublin Pride’s decision not to allow speakers from community and activist groups after Saturday’s parade. Fortunately for everyone, Pride were able to come to an agreement with LGBTQ groups, allowing them a small amount of time to address the Pride crowds.
There’s one thing I kept on hearing last week from some people associated with Pride Committee members that I’d like to address, and that’s this: where were the community and activist groups all year? While Pride Committee members were volunteering their time to put on a festival.. where was everyone else?
Where were they? Here, of course. Everywhere.
I find it difficult to understand how members of the Pride committee could see that they gave long hours to their group, but not that everyone else is doing the same.
The vast majority of the work that goes into every LGBT community or activist group in the country is voluntary. Even organisations with paid staff rely heavily on volunteers. Throughout the country, every evening and weekend, people give long hours of their time and donate their incredible expertise to build our communities and campaign for inclusion and equality.
We all give our time.
Activist and community groups build and sustain the community that Pride celebrates. They give us a place to go for the other 50 weeks of the year. They run the support groups and helplines. They organise our regular meetups. They run the campaigns that will- oh, they will– build a society where LGBTQ people are not only equally respected under the law, but equally valued as members of our society.
Activist and community groups have been working their butts off on activism and community building. That’s what they do. They also gave Dublin Pride what they asked for- filled out their forms to be part of the parade- and no doubt assumed that in the absence of any further information, the day would continue to be organised in a similar way to how it had been for years. Dublin Pride are the people who had responsibility for letting everyone else know if something else was going on.
If they didn’t do that? They should own up. Complaining about having put in long hours to people who do the exact same thing with their own evenings and weekends? Not doing anyone any favours. Hopefully next year’s committee can learn from this year’s mistakes, take ownership of their jobs and make an event that is both a spectacular party and a call to action.
- Streets Of Dublin – LGBTQ Pride Festival 2013 (Is 30,000 A Magic Number?) (fotonique.com)
- Northwest LGBT to Boycott Dublin Pride? (eile.ie)
- Update: Dublin Pride / Northwest Pride (eile.ie)
- Corporate interests hijack Dublin Gay Pride? (politics.ie)
- Proud of Pride? I think not. (totesridiculous.wordpress.com)