LGBT Ireland launches new Empowering Anthems campaign to celebrate coming out

The new campaign features well-known figures like Shane Daniel Byrne, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney. 

Promotional photo for new LGBT Ireland campaign, Empowering Anthems. The photo shows seven people posing close together in two rows, holding CDs and vinyls.
Image: Marc O'Sullivan

LGBT Ireland has launched a new campaign called Empowering Anthems to celebrate and support people coming out. The project, unveiled on Monday, October 2, sees LGBTQ+ community members and allies share the songs in their lives that make them feel uplifted and inspired.

Launched ahead of National Coming Out Day on October 11, it also encourages donations to LGBT Ireland in order to help the organisation continue providing quality and vital services to queer folks all over the country.

A number of well-known favourites like Shane Daniel Byrne, Sonya Lennon, Brendan Courtney, Dil Wickremasinghe, Cian Griffin and David O’Reilly are among those to take part in the initiative, highlighting anthems like ‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux, ‘Express Yourself’ by Madonna, and ‘Born This Way’ by Lady Gaga.


Speaking at the launch, Lennon said, “My anthem is Diana Ross’s, ‘I’m Coming Out’, and I first remember listening to it on a Walkman. The song encapsulates the emotion of being exactly who and where you want to be. It’s a celebration.

“I believe that being an ally is about accepting everyone for who they are when you’re with them but also advocating for their interests when you’re not.”

Wickremasinghe, who chose the 1987 track ‘Express Yourself’ by Madonna, recalled listening to the song during some formative teenage experiences:

“I was 16 years old, and I became aware of my sexuality and fell madly in love with another girl, she was a beautiful Sicilian girl. I was in Palermo, Sicily, with my family for a few weeks. She had a red Vespa and I used sit on the back of it as we whizzed up Mount Pellegrino, where we shared our first kiss.

“I remember listening to ‘Express Yourself’ on repeat that summer. It encouraged me to come out, express myself and 30 years later I am still happily expressing myself!”

David O’Reilly, whose anthem is ‘Rhythm of the Night’ by Corona, described it as “an honour” to be a part of “any campaign that aims to alleviate any stigma, trauma or difficulty for any minority group”.

“In a world where regression on LGBTQI+ rights is on the rise, it is so vitally important for me to support LGBT Ireland who continue to have their fingers on the pulse in supporting vulnerable members of the LGBTQI+ Community.”

Speaking about the campaign, Chief Executive of LGBT Ireland, Paula Fagan, commented, “Coming out is one of the most significant milestones in any LGBTQI+ person’s lifetime, and it can be a hugely challenging and emotional time for people. Fear of rejection and worry for the future can often create anxiety – however it can also be an incredibly empowering experience and can open up the door to self-acceptance and joy.”

In addition to the famous faces, LGBT Ireland is encouraging others to get involved by posting their favourite anthems on social media, tagging the organisation and using the hashtags “#EmpoweringAnthems” and “#ShareYourAnthem”. At the end of the campaign, all of the tracks shared will be combined into one epic Spotify playlist for all to enjoy.

To find out more about Empowering Anthems and the work of LGBT Ireland, visit

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