Making history of its own, Gay Project Cork will become the first Irish hosts of the international LGBT+ festival OUTing the Past.
Beginning March 1 and running over two days, the festival, a mixture of theatre, talks, music and screenings, will be launched by Senator David Norris, Counseller John Buttimer and Gay Project Chair Colette Finn.
Coordinator of Gay Project, Padraig Rice, said: “LGBTQ+ history isn’t taught in schools, it isn’t regularly passed intergenerationally and isn’t well supported beyond voluntary actions. However, the impact of knowing our community’s history and where we have come from can have a huge impact on one’s sense of self. With that in mind, I think this groundbreaking festival will have a huge impact. This is a free event, open to everyone.”
Dr Diarmuid Scully, a member of the organising committee, said: “Until very recently, LGBT people were outcasts – silenced and written out of history. Or else they were written into history by their oppressors as criminals and offenders against God, nature and society.
“This event is taking place in the City Hall, the symbolic heart of Cork’s civic society. It demonstrates the advance of LGBT rights in Ireland – the right to tell our story in our own voice, and to share our history with the whole community in the most significant, official public spaces.
Dr Scully continued: “We can’t take LGBT rights for granted; they have to be defended. Progress can be reversed: we’re seeing that happen in other countries. Awareness of the past is vital if we are to fully understand and appreciate the present, and secure our rights – basic human rights – for the future.”
Fellow organising committee member, Orla Egan, from the Cork LGBT Archive, winner of the first DRI Community Archives Scheme, noted: “This community, like many other LGBT communities worldwide, has been largely invisible in historical accounts… It is appropriate then that Cork hosts this free LGBT History Festival, bringing our history to a wide audience with a range of talks, exhibitions, films and theatre.”
For a full list of events, check out the programme here.
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