Although the focus tends to usually fall on the capital city Dublin, Wexford is also putting its name on the LGBT+ map with a rise in queer events drawing more and more people to the county. John Cunningham-Ryan, founder of the Wexford Rainbow Reading Club explained the appeal of Wexford for queer people sating, “outside of Dublin, Wexford has always been a popular destination for our community (the LGBT+ community) and whilst the Wexford Festival Opera sees an influx of LGBT+ people to the county, there’s plenty for us to take part in during the rest of the year.”
He went on to comment that there are lots more LGBT+ events being organised in the area under the umbrella of the recently formed Wexford LGBTQIA+ collective.
Recently, the collective took part in the Frederick Douglass Wexford Civil Rights Festival. During the festival, Ruby O’Connor and John led a discussion about the importance of representation and what it means to be a member of the LGBT+ community. The topic of representation was discussed in great detail, talking about representation in all forms of media and how this affects the community as well as one’s own personal representation.
Similarly, the Pride in the Park event which took place this summer was a massive success and, since then, many people have come forward with their own ideas for how the community can strengthen and grow. One of the events main organizers, Robert Crookes, had his own idea – a monthly dinner party. The first of these dinners will be held in Santos Restaurant this Friday, December 13. You can find out more details here.
Furthermore, The Rainbow Reading Club is still going strong and continues to meet on the second Saturday of every month, and their next gathering will be held in Wexford Library this Saturday, December 14. For anyone interested in finding out more about the reading club, you can visit their Facebook page or contact John at 086 395 3846.
For those looking for something a little different, John says that in the new year the collective will be starting a monthly pub social night, with the venue to be confirmed. However, John notes that it’s also really important to have a variety of events including ones that don’t involve drinking alcohol and events suitable for families, so the group will also be organizing regular bowling and movie nights as well as occasional table quizzes. As well as all of that, the group are also looking into setting up a choir so there will be no shortage of events happening in the new year for whatever you’re into!
Finally, the collective will also be working on reaching out to older members of the community who live in isolated rural areas of Wexford, and despite the challenges that may arise they are committed to creating fun and accessible events for all.
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