The Pride Unicorn on display at the Pride Picnic at the Plan
Martin Quinn went along to the Pride Picnic at The Plan in Tipp Town on Saturday last and was really taken by the wonderful community atmosphere of this event which was organised by the Outstanding LGBT & Allies Group of Youth Work Ireland Tipperary in association with the Light Up The Plan committee, he writes.
The beautiful sunshine ensured that it was a real community event which brought out the young and the not so young in a spirit of friendship and acceptance and was an opportunity for neighbours and friends to meet and to enjoy some delicious buns and cakes and to hear the music and the performances.
There were also some artists present who displayed their work and the Pride Unicorn even made an appearance! The Outstanding LGBT & Allies Group is for LGBT young people and friends aged 14-18 to hang out in a safe informal setting and to have fun.
The group is facilitated by Youth Work Ireland Tipperary and they have been involved in a number of events to mark Pride in County Tipperary.
I spoke with some members of the group who told me of their struggle for acceptance and of the importance of this event. This is some of what Snowy, Caden, Bill and Khalisah had to say: “It’s about having pride in who you are and of being accepted for that.
“An event like this creates visibility and shows that we are here and we are gay and we are not ashamed of that and that the community should be open and welcoming to all members of the LGBT community. It is really great to see the turnout here today with people of all ages coming together in celebrating Pride in the town.
“I am really surprised that so many people are here and it is great to see such support. Whether you are ‘in or out’ it doesn’t matter. What matters is to be proud of who you are.”
Lisa McGrath of Youth Work Ireland Tipperary and the Light Up The Plan committee echoed the sentiments expressed by the young people.
“There are local families here with families from South Africa and Portugal all enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of the day. It is a community space that is open to everyone and it would be wonderful to see other events like today’s one happening more regularly."
Lisa also reiterated the importance of the event for visibility and for showing the true colours as expressed in song by the young members of the group.
“This is a fantastic event and could not have happened without the support of so many people. There are so many people we would like to thank including the Tipperary Arts Office for funding, Applegreen and Inver for sponsoring refreshments, Light Up The Plan Committee for their invaluable support, Westend Residents for making the space beautiful, the artists who turned up on the day and our many friends and family members who joined us in celebrating Pride. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” added Lisa.
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