We reported in March that ‘We Are Family’ is the theme chosen for this year’s Dublin Pride celebrations with Dublin Pride Chairperson Clodagh Leonard stating: ‘Family means many different things. From those you come from, to those you run too. Family are the people that you choose to share your life with. We have fought hard for that choice and now we are going to celebrate. So this year we take to the streets to sing ‘we are family’.’
This year’s Grand Marshall, Sara R Philips, who is the chair of TENI spoke to GCN last month about the importance of family in an LGBT context:
‘I’m delighted that that’s the theme Pride has chosen this year because, without family, I don’t think many of us would have survived. Whatever way that family looks, in whatever shape or form, I think it’s very much part of who we are.
‘I think that showed a hugely positive thing throughout the marriage equality campaign, that family was and still is such an important thing for us as an LGBT community.’
It has been further revealed that this year’s theme was chosen to coincide with the Catholic World Meeting of Families in August.
This has been interpreted as a response to the exclusion of gay families and couples from the resource material.
Clodagh Leonard told the Irish Independent: ‘It is no coincidence that in the year when Pope Francis will visit Ireland and take part in the World Meeting of Families, we have chosen the theme ‘We Are Family’.
‘Like many people, we were appalled at the exclusion of representation of LGBTQ+ families in literature for this event, but we were also encouraged by the number of people who spoke out about this, especially those from within the Church.’
She also highlighted that there are thousands of parents across Ireland – including those of faith – who love their LGBTQ+ children and ‘more than anything want to protect them and show them that they are loved and welcome in our Ireland’.
She added that there were family members lost along the way and families that were ripped apart. ‘It is not so long ago that we don’t remember the oppression, exclusion and violence that took them from us.’
Dublin Pride Festival takes place June 21st to 30th, see http://dublinpride.ie/ for more details.
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