“Pride is never cancelled”, was the resounding message as the LGBT+ community and allies tuned in to watch the first-ever virtual Dublin Pride 2020 parade.
In lieu of the usual pride festivities, a weekend of colourful celebration took place under the theme ‘In This Together’. On Saturday, Dublin Pride joined hundreds of Prides around the world for the 24 hour Global Pride event followed on Sunday with a virtual Dublin Pride parade and the Dublin Pride concert.
Vanessa O’Connell represented front line health care workers as the Grand Marshall of this year’s festival which honoured those who have been working throughout the pandemic.
O’Connell said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, I would like us to return with a sense of solidarity for each other in all of our diversity.”
The interactive Pride Parade was co-hosted by Paul Ryder and Eddie McGuinness and included messages from various LGBT+ community organisations and partners who normally take part as well as pre-records & live submissions from the public.
The virtual parade was followed by the Dublin Pride concert co-hosted by Bunny O’Hare and Phil T Gorgeous.
The concert was filled with performances live from the Mansion House, The George and The Red Cow Inn and included acts such as Veda and Lady K, Dame Stuffy, Davina Devine, Victoria Secret, Kodaline, Jerry Fish and Niamh Kavanagh.
Jed Dowling, CEO of Dublin Pride, said:
“We’ve still been able to achieve a lot of that with our online activities but it’s obviously a huge disappointment that we can’t be on the streets.
“There’s still systemic bullying, there has been an increase in hate crimes over the last two years here in Ireland. There are 72 countries where it is illegal to be homosexual – that was 73 a week ago but we’ve managed to get it down to 72.
“It’s still punishable by death in some countries, so I don’t think you could get much more discrimination.”
Mr Dowling said that while Ireland had come a long way in the treatment of members of the LGBT community, they were still discriminated against.
“We’ve come a long way but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still bullying or that people aren’t still the victims of violence,” he said.
“That still happens. In particular, a lot of trans youth are the victims of violence and attacks so it’s still an issue.”
Sunday’s festivities was the grand finale of the Dublin Pride 2020 11-day programme jam-packed with virtual walking tours, the annual Géilí and Pride Debate to name a few.
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