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If you look it up in the dictionary is says “a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem”. It’s a word thrown around a lot, we’re told we should take pride in our work and in who we are and who we know. For me though the word refers to one thing and one thing only – Gay Pride.

I always assumed every gay person knew about the 1969 Stonewall riots and what pride is all about but as I get older I realise that a lot of gays don’t know who people like Harvey Milk are or what exactly the whole thing is about. I guess the main thing , however, is that as many gay people as possible celebrate who they are on that day, in whatever way they feel they can.

This year will be my 10th parade I think, kind of ages me I guess, I still have my whistle from my first parade and have had it with me in all the parades that followed. I love walking through the streets of Dublin singing and laughing with my mates and seeing all the happy couples enjoy the simplicity of holding hands out in the open. Over the last number of years I feel that the crowds of people watching and passing by have gotten much friendlier too, which is great to see.

Of course there’s more to the pride festival than the parade, there are loads of events on in Dublin pride including a Ceili, speed dating, table quiz, race night and loads of various club nights not to be missed. In fairness, there seems to be at least one thing for everyone, and that’s saying something when you look at how wonderfully diverse our community is.

I’m really looking forward to it, information on the festival is available here and I’d recommend you go to as many things as you can, as if there’s one thing that holds true for pride it’s the wonderful atmosphere that accompanies all of the events.

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