Queer Irish language happenings to enjoy in honour of Seachtain na Gaeilge

From a love song featuring St Brigid, to an Irish language drag show and a new blog by ShoutOut, there's a ton of happenings as Gaeilge.

A rainbow over a field

As we’re currently in the middle of Seachtain na Gaeilge, there’s a whole host of queer news and events for the Irish-speaking LGBTQ+ community to check out as we celebrate our native tongue.

Tonight, make sure to catch REIC – an online bilingual spoken word event featuring poetry, rap, music, storytelling, and everything else you can think of! It provides a welcoming space where Gaeilge is encouraged. The event will feature no less than six poets including Eoin McEvoy, Dáire Ní Chanáin, Ola Majekodunmi, Paddy Bushe agus Stiofán Ó Briain and the founder of REIC, Ciara Ní É. It’s a free event, but register your interest here.

The awesome ShoutOut have launched a special blog in honour of Seachtain na Gaeilge, feature an even more in-depth round up of news and happenings for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to enjoy.

Introducing the blog, Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh described the inspiration behind its creation: “The Irish language was the reason I first became involved in LGBT+ activism and campaigning. During the Marriage Equality Referendum in 2015, a group of us realised that the No side was stronger than the Yes side on Irish language media – the opposite of what was happening in the English language media world. We realised the need for a strong group of Irish speakers for a Yes vote. We founded Tá Comhionannas and after that we engaged with Irish language media every week until the Referendum.”

With an incredible range of topics, information and entertainment, the ShoutOut blog is an absolutely unmissable addition to Seachtain na Gaeilge.

As a musical treat, Ciara Ní É of the LGBTQ+ arts collective Aerach.Aiteach.Gaelach, shared the love song, Darlughdach’s Song – a gorgeous collaboration with Aoife Ní Mhórdha. Ciara described, “St Brigid had a very close friend in the nun, Darlughdach. I was intrigued when I read about their relationship in a GCN article in 2018, and went on to research it more. When The Liverpool Irish Festival contacted me to commission a piece for St Brigid’s Day I took the opportunity to write an intimate song from Darlughdach’s point of view. I originally wrote the piece in English, but I made an Irish version for Seachtain na Gaeilge.

“Brigid and Darlughdach shared a bed and their close relationship is well documented. When Brigid died on February first, Darlughdach wanted to die with her. Instead, Brigid made Darlughdach promise to stay on earth to continue their work, and 365 days later Darlughdach passed on to join Brigid, her anamchara (soul friend). 

“If Darlughdach was a man, I have no doubt that a sexual or romantic relationship with Brigid would be assumed. Eva Gore Booth and Esther Roper were together 30 years, shared a house, and are buried together with a quote for from lesbian icon Sappho carved on their gravestone – and people still doubt the nature of their relationship.

“We can’t know for certain what the relationship between the two women was, but I took wrote the story that played out in my head. This was set to music by my friend Aoife Ní Mhórdha. I took the opportunity to use a quote from Brigid in the piece too, “Colainn gan cheann nach gan anamchara”, which means “A personal without a soul friend is a body without a head”.

In more news from AerachAiteachGaelach, on Friday March 10 at 7pm, the queer arts collective will host a special concert on their YouTube channel, featuring four music acts.

Also on Friday, you can take part in a Queercal comhrá meeting – an Irish language conversation circle for LGBTQ+ people and their allies. For details on how to get involved, contact [email protected]

Last weekend, the first ever Irish language drag show went out live. It’s still available to watch at the link above. So check out the six amazing Irish performers put on a fabulous one-of-a-kind show all through the medium of the Irish language. Subtitles provided so anybody can watch!

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