Last weekend Belfast LGBT pride march was very successful, and as a Gay man i was proud to march with a poster calling for the ‘freedom of Bradley Manning’, a Gay man jailed in the Untied States for exposing war crimes against humanity.
Belfast pride is now the biggest LGBT pride in Ireland , while this is a victory we must remember why we are marching . Homophobia has died down but it is not yet fully dead and until it is dead we must march with pride and stand in solidarity with the LGBT movement to kill it.
Here in the North of Ireland Gay and Bi sexual men are refused the right to give blood and blood is a much need thing to save lives , yet Gay and Bisexual men can not give blood that would save peoples lives – this is being seen as outright Homophobia by Health Minster Edwin Poots., and illogical in the light of measures taken in other parts of the United Kingdom.
Both the Orange order and the Catholic church stand united in their opposition to LGBT marriage. The right of LGBT Northern Irish Citizens to marriage is a right that Stormont has blocked.
Queer bashing is still something that many LGBT people in the North of Ireland encounter, and they suffer mental heath issues which results in them taking their own lives.
Many LGBT people in the North still have a fear about coming out. In state schools many young LGBT students face homophobic bullying which the schools do not proactively handle. Until and unless the school system in the North Of Ireland is separated from the church , this abomination of abuse of power by the church will continue to impact on LGBT youth.
The word GAY means Good as You and we are. Some day we shall have our liberation and no more shall Gay people live in fear We shall over come some day.
Seán óg Garland