A Navan Pride festival is being organised this summer to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the bustling Co Meath town. It will be a week-long event, starting on Monday, June 26, and ending on Saturday, July 1.
The Solstice Arts Centre will host several LGBTQ+ film nights during the week of the festival from Monday to Friday, and a “Breaking Down Barriers talk” on LGBTQ+ issues is also planned for an early evening on the Thursday.
There will be a special Pride Speed Quizzing night to be held in Henry Loughran’s pub (Lockie’s) on Monday, June 26, from 9pm.
The Central pub will host a Navan Pride Drag Bingo featuring Queen Coco on Friday night, June 30, with a DJ set afterwards by Coco.
Lockie’s will also host a band night to close the festival on Saturday, July 1, after the parade which is planned to begin at 2pm, pending council approval.
The Navan Pride 2023 committee said it would like to get as many Meath residents and businesses involved in celebrating the LGBTQ+ members of the town in a fun, vibrant way. People from across the country are also encouraged to visit and get involved. Anyone who is interested in participating in or just supporting the inaugural Navan Pride Festival should visit navanpride.ie or email [email protected].
As part of the event, the Pride committee also wants to speak to LGBTQ+ people about their experiences and journeys to coming out. Given that many people left the town because of their sexuality or gender identity, the committee would also like to hear from such individuals or their relatives. These stories need to be told.
Patrick Lawlor, the committee’s Co-Chair, said: “For many people in this town, celebrating diversity and in particular our LGBTQ+ brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours in such a vibrant public way will be a cathartic experience. It’s not that long ago that it was illegal to be gay in this country. Many people would have left the town and some left the country in order to feel freer.
“We’re eight years on from the Marriage Equality referendum being passed but there are a lot of people who still keep their sexuality hidden and while that is their choice, it would be nice if this town opened its arms to LGBTQ+ people to make them feel that bit more comfortable in their true selves.
“The event itself will be great fun and will bring a dash of colour to the town. This is also a great opportunity for businesses in the town to show they respect and love their LGBTQ+ customers. The event itself will likely attract a lot of tourism to the town. So this is a win-win for everyone who wants to be involved,” Lawlor concluded.
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