Hello. I’m Eunyoung Kwak who is studying in ISI at the moment. Dublin LGBTQ Pride festival was held on 20 ~ 29 June 2019. During this week, Dublin was covered with rainbow colours which reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ Community. I saw many rainbow-coloured decorations in shops and pubs.
Let’s look at the Dublin Pride Parade history. In March 1983, the first large scale LGBTQ protest march took place in Dublin. It was organized by the Dublin Lesbian & Gay collective in response to the release of the murderers of a gay man called Declan Flynn. About 900 people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park. That June, the National LGBT Federation organized the first Dublin Pride Parade. It went from Stephen’s Green to the GPO. While the original route went from St Stephens Green to the GPO on O’Connell Street, in the early 1990s the starting point at The Garden of Remembrance was established.
I watched the parade at the Spire on 29th June. It was stunning. Since I’d never seen this before, I was very excited. Many people dressed up in rainbow costumes, some participated in the march and some cheered from the sidelines. I think these kind of events are very good to improve our perception of LGBTQ.
Not only did I celebrate this festival in person, but I also enjoyed online through facebook and Instagram. ISI also celebrated through Instagram.
My classmates also enjoyed the festival a lot.
My classmate Erick went to the parade. He and his friends dressed up and got their faces painted as well. He said “That was a great experience to join the parade. A lot of organizations also participated in the parade. We were so excited. After the parade, we had a party and danced a lot. I met nice people and had a lot of fun with them”.
My friend Carla joined the festival in Merrion Square with her classmates. They joined the outdoor Pride festival. There were speeches of specials guests and performers. She watched a great concert and had nice food. She said “Here in Dublin, I could see the difference with the LGBTQ Brazil celebration. It showed us the difficulties and worries about LGBTQ rights. I could see and understand this movement better. This party is for everyone, independent of social class or age. I saw children, young and old people, the garda, the army, etc. I saw PEOPLE. Everyone was so proud and driven to making the best celebration ever. Thank you all for such a great event!
My other classmates, Hyojung and Nina, also joined the festival. They went to a bar and watched a gig, met a lot of people from all over the world. They said, “It’s not a commonplace festival in our country, we’re glad to be part of a festival and enjoy this with our classmates from school”.
Furthermore, I want to introduce the Korean LGBTQ festival called ‘Seoul Queer Culture Festival’.
It was held in Seoul, which is the Capital city of Korea on 21st May to 9th June 2019. It has been held for 20 years. Just like the one in Dublin, it was not famous at first. As time goes by, it’s getting more popular. The slogan for this year’s festival was ‘20th leap, the challenge for equality. There were many events like booths, parades, lectures, and dance performances.
20th leap, a challenge for equality’ in Korean
Out of all the events, the most interesting part of the festival was the Film Festival. They showed movies about Queer. It has been held for 19 years. This made the Korean film diverse. Chaeyoon-Han, who is the Event Director, said that the Queer Film Festival has been the most responsive event. Because ‘Film’ is the easiest way to approach people without leaving anyone aside. 73 films from 25 different countries were shown in cinemas this year.
Compared to Dublin, I think Korean society is very conservative about LGBT. But I wish these kinds of festivals become more popular so that people can understand that love has different forms. After enjoying the festival, I’ve searched the background about LGBT rights and it has changed the way of thinking! If you’ve never joined this, I highly recommend it!