On Thursday, September 14, Trans+ Pride Cork released a statement in response to an anti-LGBTQ+ letter that was being circulated in West Cork. The letter in question was allegedly penned by “concerned parents” and sent to local businesses who supported Pride.
According to the statement published on social media by Trans+ Pride Cork, while allegedly being from “a group of West Cork parents and individuals”, the letter was reportedly written by “an early years educator based out of Dunmanway” who was identified by the group and was part of a broader campaign to harm LGBTQ+ people living in Cork.
The letter allegedly contained several statements about Pride, including that it is “extremely confusing” or “potentially harmful and dangerous” for young people. Moreover, the authors reportedly wrote that Pride “seeks to normalise and glorify sexual fetishism and public nudity”.
Explaining that they had no intention of refuting the “many egregiously false claims” contained in the letter, Trans+ Pride Cork stated: “We believe their lack of integrity is evidenced by their unwillingness to put their names to the unproven and uncited claims.”
“We are deeply concerned that an individual with responsibility for the education of young minds is overseeing the proliferation of hateful misinformation throughout the West Cork region,” the group added.
Our statement on the ‘Pride Concerned Parents’ letter currently being circulated to businesses in West Cork.#TransRightsAreHumanRights #TransLivesMatter #Pride #NoLGBWithoutTheT pic.twitter.com/bKiwYxWAsV
— Trans+ Pride Cork (@transpridecork) September 14, 2023
Speaking about the dangers of circulating such harmful rhetoric, they said: “Transgender and gender non-conforming people are continuously under attack in this country for simply being themselves. Our community has experienced an increase in violence in recent months which coincides with the rise of extremist anti-transgender rhetoric imported from the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We believe this extremism will not, however, find a home in the hearts and minds of the people of West Cork,” the organisation stated.
It also highlighted the importance of Pride in LGBTQ+ history and its role in “LGBT+ acceptance here in Ireland and beyond”.
“Trans+ Pride Cork remains fearful for the transgender or gender non-conforming people in Cork. The normalisation of hate against marginalised persons is leading to a significant rise in hate crime that, we fear, could lead to injury or death,” further reads the statement. According to data published by An Garda Síochána, last year registered a 29% increase in hate crimes in Ireland, with the LGBTQ+ community being the second most targeted group.
“West Cork is home to some of the most breathtaking views on our small island, and to a diverse population renowned for their embrace of people across the globe,” Trans+ Pride Cork added. “We hope, and believe, that LGBT+ people are very much supported by communities in West Cork, capable of the critical thinking and discernment required to refute the falsehoods in this letter.”
Concluding the statement, the organisation wrote: “We therefore hope that all of West Cork will continue to celebrate LGBT+ Pride in the coming years and to continue their support of our community as we experience unprecedented hardship.”
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