In collaboration with the Rowan Trust and the Hope and Courage Collective, GCN has launched the #StrongerTogether initiative to highlight the power of solidarity and to call for people from all marginalised communities to stand together in a movement against the rising hate ignited by the far-right.
Pride resonates with the echoes of our defiant history. It draws inspiration from the queer warriors that fought for our liberation. Their courage is a thread that weaves through the fabric of every Pride flag, reminding us that we too can ignite change. As we celebrate Pride Month across this island, we must confront the harsh reality that our community faces a rising tide of disinformation, scapegoating and hate. It’s time again for us to channel our collective pain and anger into action for social justice, ensuring the safety and celebration of present and future generations within our communities.
This is not our first rodeo, and it won’t be our last. Again we stand shoulder to shoulder with brothers and sisters in other minority communities who are being targeted with hate. We are strong, we are resilient and we know how to change this country for the betterment of everyone. We won’t be dragged backwards by those who want to sow division and sell fear.
With a collective vision, we have curated this special feature in GCN for LGBTQ+ Pride Month, with the hope of cultivating a greater insight into the current environment regarding extremism and polarisation. Our shared goal is to spark meaningful discussions surrounding community safety, and the crucial importance of care and solidarity at this pivotal moment.
We are horrified by the relentless targeting of our trans community. Witnessing our trans siblings’ autonomy being debated and undermined, through disinformation that fuels division, is profoundly devastating.
“Being prepared is the most important part.” Niamh McDonald from the Hope and Courage Collective on Success in Solidarity. Read more ? https://t.co/Bo6Zb1dah3. Want to be featured? Share a message of solidarity using #StrongerTogether, tagging GCN or ✉️ [email protected] pic.twitter.com/Gx2PwFvWMm
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) July 2, 2023
We are committed to actively supporting the growing solidarity movement of migrant people, People of Colour, Traveller and Roma people, Muslim people, disabled people, women, LGBTQ+ people and our many steadfast allies. We stand together to affirm that Ireland is a country that embraces, cherishes and celebrates everyone.
In the face of polarisation, solidarity becomes our power and armour, shielding us from hate and opening up the possibility of a radically equal society. As a community, we have to continue to welcome and uplift those who are marginalised as we commit to leaving no one behind. Many of us are hurting, tired, anxious and triggered by what we are seeing daily. We understand rest and healing are core in our fight for justice.
Since last Pride, we have seen a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the United States and Europe and the growth of a toxic anti-trans narrative in our nearest neighbour.
At home, we have seen intimidation and violent rallies targeting people seeking international protection. Dr Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, has called out these rallies for the real harm they are causing to children – “It’s a terrible situation. They’re fleeing death, war, murder, and they come hoping for help, safety and calm. As children do, they take it personally…All they know is there are people standing outside their door, shouting ‘get out’, having sometimes fled horrific scenarios.”
For years our LGBTQ+ community has been targeted with hate online and this past year we have seen this spill out into violence. ILGA Europe found that 2022 was the most violent year for LGBTQ+ people in Europe in a decade, and according to the Gardai, 2022 saw a major increase in hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people in Ireland. Current rallies which target libraries and schools by spreading fear and disinformation about the LGBTQ+ community put our children and young people at real risk, and contribute to an environment where we are unfortunately seeing brutal assaults on teenagers.
The good news is that we know what works to overcome attempts to suppress our community – it is solidarity within our LGBTQ+ community and together with all communities. When we look to our immediate history we see how potent solidarity is.
“We have to build support in numbers and spirit so we can outnumber the far right.” Rosaleen McDonagh on Success in Solidarity. Read: https://t.co/jXP32Sjt6F or in GCN’s Pride issue https://t.co/2daMPOiqFa. Share a message of solidarity using #StrongerTogether. pic.twitter.com/a4u6JpyoxX
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) June 16, 2023
When we organised against HIV, we came together and extended care to other at-risk communities. When we sought to have our rights protected in law we walked hand in hand with Travellers, migrants, People of Colour and disabled people to create equality legislation. When we built our youth, health and education programmes it would not have been possible without partnerships with other excluded groups. And maybe most memorably, when we campaigned for Marriage Equality, other communities on the margins, including working class communities, reached out to us to share their knowledge, resources and people power to bring about that resounding victory in 2015. Now we need to reach out to those communities who are also at risk.
Solidarity is the fuel that ignites our power. It is the understanding that our liberation is bound together, and that we must stand shoulder to shoulder, unwavering in our support for one another. When we come together, we form a formidable force that overcomes prejudice and disinformation, amplifying our voices, turning whispers into resounding cries for justice.
“There is no excuse for denying people their basic human rights.” Bulelani Mfaco on Sucess in Solidarity. Read: https://t.co/UnXCoEbQZD or in GCN’s new issue ? https://t.co/2daMPOiqFa. Share a message of solidarity using #StrongerTogether. pic.twitter.com/RgCzEv61VF
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) June 22, 2023
Solidarity means celebrating diversity and amplifying the voices on the margins. It means using our platforms to uplift and empower those voices that are too often silenced. It means building an unstoppable movement of hope and courage.
So let us yet again dig deep and rise stronger together. Let us harness our hurt, our determination, and our unyielding solidarity to protect our progress and each other, and build an unstoppable movement of hope and courage.
This story originally appeared in GCN’s Pride issue 378, as part of an ongoing feature on solidarity that was created in cooperation with the Rowan Trust and the Hope and Courage Collective. Read the full issue here.
Want to be featured in this special campaign? Share a message of solidarity using #StrongerTogether, tagging GCN or email [email protected].
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
This article was published in the print edition Issue No. 378 (June 1, 2023). Click here to read it now.
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