From 11th to 16th July, Outcomers will host its eighth annual Dundalk LGBT Pride Festival, with activities ranging from a Youth Pride Event, to the hugely popular family-friendly Pride Open Day.
This year, the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the North East region of Ireland is focussing on young people. Young LGBT people are still vulnerable to homophobia and discrimination and the immense stress this can add to their lives. The LGBTIreland Report (2016) states that:
- 66% of respondents had been verbally abused because of their sexual orientation or gender identity;
- Only 20% of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) students felt they belonged completely in their school;
- Only 44% of LGBTI students said they received positive affirmation of their identity;
- 70% of 14 to 18 year old LGBTI people had seriously thought of ending their own life in the last year – LGBTI young people are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
It is essential that LGBT youth know they are accepted in their communities and that they can access the support of their peers. Dundalk Pride 2017 will bring together LGBT youth from around the North East region to celebrate their identities and experiences, and meet the young volunteers who organise and run the festival.
Events for this year’s Dundalk LGBT Pride Festival include:
Tuesday, 11th July – “I am Michael” – Movie screening
"I'm Michael" is based on the fascinating true-life story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who becomes a Christian pastor after identifying as a heterosexual. Screening will start at 8pm and will be followed by free coffee, tea and selection of cupcakes (An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk)
Thursday, 13th July – Open Music Night
In collaboration with Culture Club, Dundalk Pride will host an Open Music Night. For people who sing, play, or just enjoy music, this evening will offer a relaxed and friendly outdoor environment for people to perform their favourite songs and collaborate with others. This is a B.Y.O.B. event. 8 p.m., free admission. Outcomers LGBT Centre (The Coach House, behind 8 Roden Place).
Friday, 14th July – North East Youth Pride Day
A day of activities for young LGBT people (14 to 18 years old) from around the North East region. Since 2014 there has been a growing amount of LGBT youth groups in the region, and this day will bring them together in celebration and pride. Admission to this event is available only by contacting Outcomers on 0861625030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, 15th July – Pride Open Day
A day when the Outcomers Centre and courtyard is transformed by festival decorations, crafts and colours! Featuring artisan food, a terrace café, barbecue, live music and holistic therapies. This year we will have a special “KIDS PRIDE” celebrated with the magic act at from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Pride Day open from 12pm to 5pm, everyone welcome! Free admission, Outcomers Centre.
Saturday, 15th July – Pride Evening Gig
Our Pride Evening Gig this year will be in the comfort of Outcomers Centre and courtyard. This is a b.y.o.b event with music from a local band. Admission €10, strictly over 18’s, 7pm till late.
The Dundalk LGBTI Pride Festival is organised by volunteers from Outcomers, an LGBT support service at 8 Roden Place. It is made possible by sponsorship from the HSE National Lottery Funding, Louth Leader Partnership, plus local businesses and private donations. Outcomers is funded by the Health Service Executive North East and the Louth Leader Partnership.
Further information about events, and a full list of sponsors can be found at www.dundalkpride.com