My time at the 2017 Dublin Pride Festival
On the 24th of June, I attended the 2017 Dublin Pride festival where I took part in the Irish Red Cross Youth float in the parade. It was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life so far. As a teenage member of the LGBTQ+ community it’s often difficult to come out. So going to my first pride was a huge milestone for me and has made a significant impact on my life.
We were told to meet at the Red Cross headquarters at 9 a.m., going anywhere, let alone the city center, at 9 on a Saturday morning is never easy. But I was so excited and eager to attend the parade and join my community and so I strutted down to the bus stop at 8 a.m. Though I did catch a few glances on the bus, draped in a rainbow.
I met with fellow members of the Santry Branch at Trinity College and the four of us definitely stood out in our rainbow gear. We met up with the other members and we set up the bus with banners and flags, which was quite the task but we worked together to get the job done. We drove down to St. Stephen’s Green, where we parked the bus.
We mingled with other float members and took pictures of them with our “Don’t be a bully…be a buddy!” program mascot, Buddy the Bear. We did encounter one bump in the road however, our generator, which powered the speakers, was not permitted in the parade so we had to do without music, but we compensated for the lack of music with an overwhelming amount of singing.
Riding on top of the bus was lots of fun. We waved our flags with glee as we sung and waved to the people in the streets. Once the parade was done we drove back to headquarters. Once we made it back though me and my friend left to go to the party at Smithfield while the other members sat down and enjoyed a pizza for all their tremendous work.
The Dublin Pride Festival was spectacular and amidst the drag queens and the glitter I found a feeling of safety and a large contribution to this sense of warmth and home was the Irish Red Cross Youth, its youth members, its leaders, and above all else Catriona Finn (National Youth Development Officer) who I would like to personally thank for the opportunity and the experience, as well as Tom Doyle (Regional Director of Youth, Dublin-Mid Leinster), Niamh Wearen and Keith Hodson (youth leaders, Santry) who made it possible for me to even attend. And I wait for next year’s Dublin Pride Festival, with great anticipation and pride.