Iconic Irish moments as LGBTQ+ History Month 2021 continues

We take a look at our #Queerstory archive and beyond to uncover iconic moments in Ireland's LGBTQ+ history.

A banner reading Love Is Love in rainbow paint

We’re mid-way through LGBTQ+ History Month! It’s an annual celebration and remembrance of those who fought for the rights we have today, whether by means of outrage and disruption or through the revolutionary act of simply living as their true selves.

Understanding our history helps us to see where we have come from, where we are now and what lies on the road ahead.

LGBTQ+ History Month was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher, Rodney Wilson. In the UK, it’s observed every February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, which prohibited “the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

After Schools Out UK paid tribute to Alan Turing in November 2012, it was suggested that every LGBTQ+ History Month should feature queer icons from the past whose lives and work have been forgotten. Providing them with the platform they deserve and educating the world on queer history. This year, the committee added a fifth figure as part of the intention to represent the “+” in LGBTQ+.

The theme of 2021’s celebrations is Body, Mind and Spirit. Take a look at this year’s featured icons below!

Despite global restrictions, there’s no stopping the celebrations this year as there’s still a huge variety of events for you to join online. The official website for LGBTQ+ History Month has an amazing calendar, packed with events while Eventbrite is also filled with online panel discussions, screenings and workshops free to book.

UK-based radio station, Gorgeous FM, is celebrating by paying tribute to queer music icons everyday throughout the month. The University of Lincoln is hosting an online screening of Queer. Black. British. Tracing LGBTQ+ Histories on Tuesday February 23rd, book your e-ticket here. The OUTing The Past Festival is also back and hosting an abundance of events through Zoom.

Here at home, UCD’s LGBTI Staff Network and LGBTI Subgroup are hosting an online discussion on the life and legacy of UCD founder Cardinal John Henry Newman on Friday 26 February, book your space here. You can also track Ireland’s queer ancient history through the Ceilte map on HistoryPin.

To celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, here are just a handful of fabulous features from Black Pride Ireland, the Irish Queer Archive, Origins Eile and our very own #Queerstory to inspire you to celebrate and research more about our own queer history– take a look!



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22 October 2015: The Marriage Act passes by the Oireachtas and it’s signed into law by the Presidential Commission on October 29. Marriages of same-sex couples in Ireland begin being recognised from November 16, with the first ceremonies taking place the day after.



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August 2nd 2019: Black Pride Ireland is launched, accompanied with a powerful manifesto with the aim to create safe spaces that are accessible to Black LGBTQ+ people living in Ireland.



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26th April 1895: Author Oscar Wilde is prosecuted for sodomy and gross indecency in Regina vs. Wilde, the case that would lead to his imprisonment. Speaking in court he says that homosexual love “is the noblest of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it.”


1st April 1987: The 1st Alternative Miss Ireland was held at Sides dance club. It would go on to raise thousands for charities over the years.


20th April 1983: A report on a protest meeting at Fairview Park following the death of Declan Flynn.



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2nd December 2015: The Dáil passes a Bill to make it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ teachers. The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 amended the provisions of Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Act.



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1st December 2020: TONGUES, a Black Queer publication by Origins Eile in association with Black Pride Ireland is launched. Containing a wide range of written work including poetry, short stories, opinion pieces, interviews, and visual work including photography, graphic design, illustration and painting.

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