On this morning's Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Brendan Courtney filling in for Ryan, was joined on the show by Arts Editor of The Irish Voice Cahir O'Doherty who was born and raised in Buncrana to discuss the town's recent Pride parade.
Now living in New York, Cahir says that seeing images of a Pride Parade in his hometown was like watching science fiction:
"I saw the advertisments for it fairly early on online, and I couldn't believe it," he told Brendan. "It was like science fiction to me that there was going to be a Pride parade up in Buncrana. It just seemed like the last thing that was ever going to happen in the town."
"When I was growing up there in the 1980s, it would have seemed like science fiction to me that one day, in the town, instead of an uncertain welcome, you would actually be embraced by your own community and the LGBT people in your community would actually have a day in which they would be embraced by their own community in a way that was so much fun, so colourful, and so amazing to watch."
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Speaking about the significance of Donegal's first LGBT Pride, Cahir spoke about how much has changed since his time growing up in Ireland.
"Pride was not really on the menu back then," he explained. "You had to snatch your identity, if you like, out of all these social circumstances that conspired to make you feel less than or othered."
"Your presence in the community was speculated on," he continued. "People would actually ask you about your orientation as if they had the right to do that, people who didn't even know you."
"When you leave a place, you begin a conversation with it in your head. You begin a long conversation and you ask questions like 'why did you do this?', 'why didn't you do that?'"
"This parade is the first time I feel like I ever got an answer back from the place. It made me think actually there is a place for you, maybe we can fit you into the story of the place. Maybe you and your partner might be welcome here one day - in fact maybe one day you might even live here."
"This is the first time, in my life really, that I heard that answer, and so I had a really complicated reaction. I'd say like a lot of people who grew up LGBT in the town, I had a very complicated reaction on the day to the joyous feelings I was feeling and the sense of 'why couldn't this have been sooner, what was the wait, what was the hold up?'"
To listen back to the full interview on RTÉ Radio 1, listen below:
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