EPIC launches Out In The World exhibition showcasing Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora

After months of cultural and heritage site closures, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is launching a new interactive exhibition about the experiences and impacts of Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora.

A woman wearing a rainbow mask, in the background a black and white photo featured in the out in the world exhibition

EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum is launching a new exhibition for Pride month; Out In The World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora. The exhibition will launch online and will become open to the public on Tuesday 8th of June. 

The online launch of the exhibition will run as part of the Dublin Pride festival 2021, and will feature appearances from designer Richard Malone, Minister Colm Brophy, Dr Rory O’Neill (also known as Panti Bliss), and chair of the London Irish LGBT Network, Vanessa Monaghan. 

Dr. Maurice J Casey researched, curated and developed the exhibition; he is the Department of Foreign Affairs Historian-in-Residence at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. 

Out In The World aims to tell the emigration stories that are not often heard, by documenting the remarkable lengths that Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora went to in their quest for love, recognition and security. The exhibition will feature 12 stories under six themes – exclusion, community, love, defiance, solidarity and return. 

These themes were chosen because they speak to significant parts of the Irish LGBTQ+ experience. The exhibition will include stories from the 1800’s to the present day, detailing the experiences of Irish LGBTQ+ diaspora from across the globe. 

Rory O'Neil at the out in the world exhibition

Some of the stories featured include; the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) which was founded in New York city in 1990’s; and the Brixton Faeries, a gay theatre troupe based in the UK in the 1970’s.

Another story included is of an Irish participant in the Stonewall riots, John O’Brien, who upon recalling his participation in the riots said: “The Irish rebel spirit was in me.” 

The exhibition also hopes to give a platform for others to share their experiences of LGBTQ+ emigration. Out In The World will have a physical and virtual “storyboard” where visitors can share their messages and experiences that may be featured in future iterations of the exhibition. 

Dr Patrick Greene, CEO and Museum Director, has said: “This exhibition is a chance to understand Ireland and its influence around the world through our LGBTQ+ emigrants, what they brought with them and their influence on the world.” 

Out In The World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora will be free of charge for the month of June, as part of the Dublin Pride Festival, and will run until December 1st, 2021.

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