A look at Irish Queer community highlights of 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to take a look at some of the momentous events for our beautiful rainbow community over the last year.

Split screen of members of the LGBTQ+ community and activists from the highlights of 2021

To kick off our 2021 community highlights, cast your minds back to March when a couple from Cork made history.

Same-sex couple both recognised as parents from birth

In March, a same-sex couple from Cork were both legally recognised as parents of their twin children in a historic first for Ireland, making great strides for our LGBTQ+ community.

Ireland’s first international conference on intersex issues was hosted by DCU

In April, DCU held a virtual event, ‘Intersex 2021 – A Vision for the Future’, which was opened by the EU Commissioner for Equality. The event for discussing Intersex issues featured speakers from organisations such as Intersex Ireland, Intersex Human Rights Australia and OII Europe.

Trans Writers Union begin Irish Times boycott

In August, the Trans Writers Union announced their boycott of the Irish Times after the publication printed a piece on conversion therapy which received widespread criticism from the LGBTQ+ community. The boycott is ongoing and has gathered momentum since its initial conception.

Lyra McKee killers charged

After two years of uncertainty with her ongoing case, charges were finally made this year for Lyra’s McKee’s untimely passing. The journalist and LGBTQ+ activist sadly lost her life when she was shot in Derry in 2019, but this year justice was served to those responsible.

Proud AF campaign launched

Gay Project‘s Proud AF campaign was a great success, highlighting and addressing racism amongst GBTQ+ men in Ireland. The campaign gave a platform to many persons of colour who have typically been underrepresented in society and gave them the chance to proclaim “I am proud AF”.

Izzy Kamikaze attacker was charged

In October, Michael Quinn was sentenced to three years after being found guilty of attacking LGBTQ+ activist, Izzy Kamikaze. Quinn pleaded guilty to charges in June of this year will serve two years in prison with the third year suspended.

Barriers removed from Gender Recognition Act

In November of this year, TENI broke the news that a deed poll will no longer be required for those looking for a Gender Recognition Cert, removing barriers that would prevent Trans people from getting their chosen name on legal documents.

Loretta Cosgrove from Sydney Queer Irish received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award

Cosgrove, who’s the founder of Sydney Queer Irish, was honoured by President Higgins for all her work in community support. She came all the way from Australia to receive her prestigious award in person and you can read all about her work here.

MPOWER to hire a “first-of-its-kind” Chemsex Support Worker

Earlier this month, MPOWER put a call out to hire a Chemsex Support Worker, in a historic first for the country. The support worker will provide nonjudgemental harm reduction to gbMSM who partake in chemsex.

Blood donation deferral times changed

Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health, endorsed a phased change of restrictions for gbMSM donating blood in Ireland. The changes will begin in early 2022, marking an amazing step forward for the Irish rainbow community.


It’s been a turbulent year at times, but we’ve seen some amazing community highlights throughout 2021 and we at GCN are looking forward to reporting on another year of LGBTQ+triumphs.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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