In 1981 the programme 'Ireland's Eye' visited the Hirschfeld Centre to find out about life as a gay man in Ireland.
In 1979 the National Gay Federation (NGF) was established at the Hirschfeld Centre in Temple Bar, Dublin. Named after German sexologist and gay rights reformer Magnus Hirschfeld the centre is the first full-time lesbian and gay community venue in Ireland. It provides a place to meet, a café, a small cinema and a disco named 'Flikkers'. The centre also offered an information and advice service called 'Tel-A-Friend', aimed at helping people to come to terms with their sexuality.
They don't understand how gay people go around.
Reporter Brian Black visits Flikkers gay disco and speaks to barman John and patron Pat, about the prejudice faced by gay people. John talks about what people in the outside world would think of their club, and the difficulty he had coming out to his family and friends. While John faces prejudice in his daily life, he says that,
When they get to know me they accept me.
Pat claims that international studies have shown that one in ten people in the adult population is gay but are afraid to come out.
We're called queer, we're puffs, we're pansies.
David Norris views the oppression faced by gay people as a human rights issue arguing that they are categorised as sinners by the church and criminals by the state.
The agencies both of the state and of the church, both categorise us in certain ways. The church continues very largely to categorise us as sinners, even though they claim to be able to love the sinner and hate the sin.
This report for 'Ireland's Eye' was broadcast on 24 November 1981. The reporter is Brian Black.