Ireland is seen as one of the most progressive countries in the world, but for LGBTQ+ People of Colour and Travellers, it can be a very different place. Proud AF is a campaign by Gay Project which highlights racism amongst GBTQ+ men in Ireland.
The Gay Project is an Irish NGO that supports gay, bi, Trans and queer men, celebrates sexuality and gender diversity and advocates for LGBTQ+ human rights and policy protections.
Despite being among the many communities that make up our LGBTQ+ family, People of Colour and Travellers experience both homophobia and racism in Ireland, which can lead to isolation and feelings of invisibility in our generally white and settled GBTQ+ communities.
#ProudAF asks the wider community to examine their behaviour and to change them in order to make our community a more accepting and inclusive place for everyone. Find out about the ways in which our LGBTQI+ family are harmed by racism, bias & exclusion https://t.co/5S0iyqSekM pic.twitter.com/ziuVPE35nB
— Gay Project 🏳️🌈 (@GayProjectIRL) October 3, 2021
Through storytelling and lived experience, the campaign explores the racism, bias and exclusion that is hurting our POC and Traveller siblings, such as sexual racism, racial profiling, objectification and fetishisation, cultural differences and discrimination perpetuated by white and settled GBTQ+ people. It is a call to action that asks the wider community to examine their own behaviours and to change them.
As GCN’s cover star Pradeep Mahadeshwar puts it: “The community is vibrant and diverse – the only thing missing is inclusion.”
In order for the LGBTQI+ community to achieve its collective action for inclusion, it must first acknowledge that GBTQI+ POC and Travellers experience Ireland differently from those who are white and settled. Find out more at https://t.co/5S0iyqSekM #ProudAF pic.twitter.com/DufbMGFobD
— Gay Project 🏳️🌈 (@GayProjectIRL) October 4, 2021
The national Proud AF campaign, which is government-funded, will platform GBTQ+ POC and Travellers, making them loud, proud and visible across the country in washrooms, digital screens, video content and a social media campaign. Gay Project encourages People of Colour, Travellers and their community allies to share their experiences and stories on social media using the hashtag #ProudAF.
Taking part in the campaign are community activist and art director Pradeep Mahadeshwar, drag queen Viola Gayvis, law student and asylum rights advocate Bulelani Mfaco, TikTok star and mental health advocate Darren Collins, and Delroy Mpofu, who has just begun his studies at UCD.
Find out more about the #ProudAF campaign at gayproject.ie.
This article originally appeared in GCN issue 368, which can be read in full here.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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