Welcome to the 10th -and probably the LAST EVER - Northwest Pride, a community festival for LGBT people, our families & friends in a largely rural, border area in Ireland. That's right - we ARE out in the bog.
It's not always easy. There's no "scene" here, just LGBT people, scattered here & there. Refugees from cities, living on the land; kids too young & poor still to have got to the cities; middle-aged people come home to mind their parents.
But nine times now, we have got together with our friends & families and made with our bare hands something beautiful, that charges us up for another year, something we believe is in the true spirit of Pride - the spirit of Stonewall.
Strangely, people have travelled to be with us. They've come from places that have what we don't have but they've had fun. They LIKE the way we do things. Some of them tell us it's "their favourite Pride." We're glad - it's our favourite Pride too!
Some people say Sligo is the smallest city in the world with its own Pride Parade. But the spirit of Stonewall is alive in our hearts.
We can't keep doing this forever. The young people have no option these days but to go away. Short of a miracle, this will be the last Northwest Pride.
In light of the "debate" currently raging in our country about whether or not we are decent human beings, worthy of being members of families, we have "rebranded" Northwest Pride, to more actively reflect what it has always been. We are Northwest lgbt FAMILY Pride.
You can join us in Carrick-on-Shannon, August 7th-9th and in Sligo, August 19th-23rd.
Our co-founder and current chair, Izzy Kamikaze has written something about love, the marriage referendum, family & Northwest Pride. You can find it here.
See you in August. It'll be SO Northwest Pride!