Pride Nails Dublin fundraiser will give your nails a Pride Flag glow up

An amazing new initiative has sprung up this Pride to paint the nails of queers and allies alike with all the colours of the rainbow in the name of charity.

A pair of hands with all the nails painted in the style of different Pride flags
Image: Via Instagram @pridenails_dublin

Matt O’Brien and Róisín Barrett are the duo behind Pride Nails Dublin, a cute queer enterprise to spread some love this June and support an LGBTQ+ charity while doing it.

“I did my nails last year … as a conversation starter because I like to make people uncomfortable around Pride,” Matt, a Trans man and professional fitness instructor, tells GCN. “Because both places that I worked … they weren’t really doing anything for Pride, so I decided to paint my nails and it drew attention because obviously, it was a very toxic masculine vibe in the gym, so a man with nails painted in multiple colours was standing out.”

Matt, whose nails were painted in both the colours of the rainbow and Trans Pride flags, got a lot of questions from gym members and staff, so he took the opportunity to educate people on what the different flags meant and the importance of Pride.

In fact, his nails were painted when he first met his now-partner, Róisín, the other half of Pride Nails Dublin.

“I just thought, well, this is really cool, he’s really good at it,” said Róisín, who identifies as a bisexual woman. Matt started painting her nails and the idea unfolded from there. “We shouldn’t just keep this to ourselves … and why not raise money for charity while we’re at it?”

While initially Matt favoured the rainbow and Trans flags, the pair are now more practised in painting a whole range of queer flags and they’re eager to share their skills with anyone who wants to add a bit of colour to their nails this Pride. Patrons can opt for whatever flag they most identify with or want to show support for, or they can go for any combination of designs for maximum colour. Alternatively, if you’ve pledged to make the Pinky Promise this Pride, you can just get a single pinky nail painted in the flag or colour of your choice.

The artistic pair will be based in the Pride pop-up shop on Duke Street and have elected to charge a small fee of €5 in support of BeLonG To Youth Services.

“We … chose the youth service because we think it’s really important that young [queer] people in Ireland, kind of, can appreciate that they’re members of the LGBTQ+ community and kind of learn to learn about themselves as they’re young,” Róisín tells us.

She notes that she only came to understand her sexual identity when she was 19 years-old and would have benefitted from the understanding and education that comes along with a youth service such as BeLonG To.

“I think it’s really important that people kinda show who they are and you be proud of who you are because that’s how we’re going to tackle the violence against the LGBTQ+ community,” she continues, noting the recent rise in homophobic attacks in Ireland.

If you want to show off your Pride through your nails this year, stop by to see Matt and Róisín at the Pride pop-up shop on Duke Street on Friday, June 17; Sunday June 19, or Friday, June 24. You’ll walk away with a fab manicure and having supported charity, so it’s a win-win.

Or, if you can’t make it to Dublin, you can always donate through their online fundraiser.  You can also learn more about Matt and Róisín and their relationship with Pride as ‘hidden queers’ in the latest issue of GCN magazine.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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