Bi+ Ireland has taken the decision to have a presence at both Dublin LGBTQ Pride and Alternative Pride and we encourage anyone who falls under the bi+ umbrella (bisexual, Panromantic etc) to join us at whichever event you are drawn to.
Regardless of if you were at Alternative Pride or Dublin LGBTQ Pride or neither, all bi+ people are invited to join Bi+ Ireland in the Iveagh Rose Garden at approx. 3pm for a community picnic.
Bi+ Ireland at Alternative Pride
Bi+ Ireland at Dublin LGBTQ Pride
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We want to let you know everything that’s been going on and the reasoning behind why we’re planning on doing things the way we are, and this is a profoundly complex issue.
We- the Bi+ Ireland volunteer team- have been listening deeply to the conversations you’ve been having as a community around Dublin LGBTQ Pride and Alternative Pride. Many of the volunteer team have taken part in those conversations as well, and have shared our often nuanced, always deeply-held views in those conversations.
We as a volunteer team hold deeply to our responsibility towards all of you as a community present here, and also towards the bi+ people in Ireland who aren’t currently part of this group. We know that we have a duty to always be mindful of the fact that we are an immensely diverse group. We do our best, and always work to learn to do better, in being a group which is inclusive and accessible and who puts the needs of our multiply-marginalised members at the front and center of our decisions and practices.
And we are profoundly concerned, as are many of you, by the decision of Dublin LGBTQ Pride to invite the Garda Siochana to march in uniform as a group this year. We also agree that the inclusion of RTÉ- who only a few months ago gave their platform to a notorious transphobe, and whose remit requires them to air the views of homophobes, biphobes and transphobes- is simply not appropriate nor respectful to the people in our community harmed by those bigots.
This is where things get difficult. Because this is where our responsibilities towards our community send us down two conflicting paths.
You see, we have a responsibility to be present at Dublin LGBTQ Pride. We are, as you know, the only organisation on the island of Ireland with the goal to specifically represent all of us under the bi-plus umbrella. That umbrella is one which, we know, makes up more than half of the LGBTQIA+ population.
Dublin LGBTQ Pride is the biggest and most visible gathering of that population. And every year when we march and are visible, something magical happens. We see faces in the crowd who see our flags, our colours, our big bi+ logo and their eyes light up and they point to us and grab their friends and wave like their lives depended on it. We see people coming up and asking can they march with us, who are so damn excited to finally see other out, proud, happy bi+ people.
And we see people- every year- who come to us because somewhere else in that parade someone said or did something biphobic to them. And then they saw our flags. And they knew that we would give them somewhere safe to be.
We have an absolute responsibility to be present and create that space for the bi and pan people who may need it this year. Because there will be people who need it, and we can’t let them down.
At the same time, we have an absolute responsibility to the bi+ people who do not feel that they can attend Pride because of the presence of uniformed Gardaí amongst the marchers. Those of you who, due to multiple marginalisations, experience the Gardaí not as a safety net, but as a deeply threatening and sometimes traumatising force. There are those of us within our volunteer team who share this feeling and these experiences.
We feel that it’s important that Bi+ Ireland are present at Alternative Pride. We want to be a strong, visible voice for the bi+ community there. We want to be clear that we do not shove the concerns of our people whose experiences of the gardaí are traumatic ones, nor the experiences of those of us who have been harmed by RTÉ’s platforming of biphobes, transphobes and homophobes, under the rug. And- let’s be honest- there are simply some of us in the volunteer team who don’t feel comfortable personally attending Pride this year and who still want to be with our bi+ community that day.
So we’ve made the decision that we would like to handle this in classically bi+ fashion: we realised that we can do both.
We still want to have a group marching in Dublin LGBTQ Pride. We’re going to be visibly bi+ to the biggest audience that this country offers us, and we’re going to offer that safer space to the bi+ people out for Pride who need it.
And for those of us who aren’t comfortable going to Dublin LGBTQ Pride this year: we’re also going to have a group behind our banner at Alternative Pride.
We will also have a picnic following both prides in a seperate location (Iveagh Rose Gardens) that provide a space for our entire community to gather as one.
We hope you can understand and appreciate how difficult a decision this was for us to make and we can only hope that we have made the best decision of all of those in our community and those who have not yet discovered Bi+ Ireland.
We hope to see many of you on the day!