First up is artist Áine Macken, for whom Pride is incredibly special. In the video, she recalls her first Pride parade as an out member of the LGBT+ community.
“My first kind of out Pride stands out to me,” she says, “because I remember a girl approaching me as I was parading and she said she recognised me from another event we’d both been to.”
I could just see her kind of accept herself in that walk… And I’ll never forget that
“She told me that she wasn’t out yet, but that she wanted to march with me in the parade.”
“So she walked with me and I’ll never forget looking at her face as she was walking through that parade and seeing how many people, how diverse it was, how much joy there was.”
“I could just see her kind of accept herself in that walk… And I’ll never forget that,” Áine says.
To get to know what Pride means to Áine a bit better, we asked her a few questions.
1) Tell us about the first time you were at Pride.
Emm, I don’t really remember my first pride. I was kinda going years before I even came out to myself because my best friend is gay and I was there as a hilariously mesmerised completely unconscious yet fascinated ‘straight’ person.
LOL @ past me. I remember my first ‘out’ pride though which also happens to be my favourite pride memory…
I watched her face, and knew she felt the same as me, that we weren’t alone
2) What is your favourite Pride memory?
My first ‘out’ pride, I remember a girl approaching me, recognising me from an event we’d both been to. She asked if she could walk beside me in the parade, as it was her first pride and she hadn’t really come out and didn’t really know anyone.
My favourite bit was watching her face as we paraded, seeing it soften and soak up all the sunny self acceptance, as all of these joyous colourful people with their different backgrounds and cares and worries, united in pride, marched together.
I watched her face, and knew she felt the same as me, that we weren’t alone, that although we had felt different, there were so many gorgeous people who felt the same, dancing openly in the street, happy to be who they were.
3) Why do you think Pride is important?
The reality is that we are a minority, and much as we’ve experienced an incredible level of acceptance from our little country through the referendum, there’s still an element of other-ness to us. We’re that little bit different, which can be the scariest thing in the world, (well it was to me as a teenage Tori Amos obsessed, hair plaiting, quiet little almost goth).
Pride is important because it’s a celebration of acceptance, it’s a lack of fear, it’s a great big fat joyous rainbow unicorn party where you can kiss anyone you like, dress any way you like and just be yourself like everyone else dancing around you.
For every person who thinks they’re different, for every crushing gut wrench of shame, pride will always be significant and turn that knot into a JAUNTY BOW.
4) What are you the most proud of as an LGBT+ person?
As an LGBT person, I’m proud to have a future wife, to be carving out a lovely life with her, and I’m very proud that I was part of making sure she could become my legal wife too.
Also, I’m so proud of all my friends and allies who aren’t queer, but who walked door to door with me as we campaigned for marriage equality, who cared enough about our lives to dedicate their time and to go out and vote to protect and embrace queer people’s futures.
5) Do you have any favourite Pride outfits?
I mean the outfit is the most important bit really isn’t it?!!!
Obviously, the absolute rides of the Dublin Drag scene will forever outshine me, but my personal fave that I wore myself was a bright red sailor dress, it was loud and 50’s and LOOK AT ME and I felt like a total pRIDE in it. ?
What does Pride mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.
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