University College Cork launch first course on LGBT+ history in Ireland

‘From Shame to Pride? A Short Introduction to LGBT+ Irish History (1970s-2020)’ is a six month long course launched by University College Cork.

Front of University College Cork and a green in front of it.

University College Cork has launched a brand new course which will examine Irish LGBT+ history from 1970 to 2020, look into how laws have changed over time, the impact of Declan Fylnn’s murder, and the Irish diaspora

The course ‘From Shame to Pride? A Short Introduction to LGBT+ Irish History (1970s-2020)’ will run for six months starting in January. This groundbreaking module includes statements from activists, media reports, personal testimonies, and other engaging materials.

On the UCC website, it states, “this course explores the Irish LGBT+ experience from Stonewall to the present. It focuses on major issues and events that shaped the lives of LGBT+ people in Ireland and the Irish diaspora. The course asks: have LGBT+ people and wider Irish society moved from shame to pride in their understanding of LGBT+ identities?”

Course lecturer Dr Diarmuid Scully has previously been a member of the organising committee for the LGBT+ festival OUTing the Past. Speaking about the importance of the event, he said, “We can’t take LGBT rights for granted; they have to be defended. Progress can be reversed: we’re seeing that happen in other countries. Awareness of the past is vital if we are to fully understand and appreciate the present, and secure our rights – basic human rights – for the future.”

This year’s Cork Pride promoted the theme ‘Stonewall: 50 Years Proud’ and saw the largest turnout yet. Continuing the strong push to uphold queer history, the Cork LGBT+ Archive was digitally preserved in the Digital Repository of Ireland in October. This was a crucial step towards ensuring the longevity of vital information regarding the community’s past. 

‘From Shame to Pride? A Short Introduction to LGBT+ Irish History (1970s-2020)’ is described as a way to “discover a history that was hidden – or written from a hostile perspective – until very recently. Get an insight into one of the most dramatic changes in modern Irish society: the transformation in the perception and status of LGBT+ people.”

The fee for the University College Cork course is set at €150. The closing date for applications is Friday, January 17 2020.

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