I wrote this piece about being bi+ and living in rural Ireland for the Cork Pride guide. I submitted it before the Orlando shooting where 49 people were killed and 53 others injured. The aftermath of this homophobic act of terrorism makes safe spaces for LGBTQ* people all the more important. On a personal level, I missed not having an LGBTQ* bar/space close by so I could visit in the days following the massacre.
I’ve been trying to find the right words since I heard about the shooting in Pulse, a gay bar in Orlando, but all I have are tears, anger and the ability to retweet people who are far more articulate than me.
That this happened in a gay bar, a safe haven for so many LGBTQ* people is heartbreaking beyond belief. That it happened on Latin night means LGBTQ* people of colour were affected even more, you only have to look at the names of those murdered to realise this.
On Friday May 22nd Irish people will vote on whether to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post this close to the referendum because, frankly, since the campaign officially began I’ve been too angry and wound up to write anything sensible. But having written two longer than usual Facebook updates recently, I decided to combine them and elaborate here.
Two months ago I was lucky enough to get married. I say lucky not just because I am happily married to the man I love, but because the option of marriage has never been open to me before as my previous long term relationships were with women.
Paul and I had a small civil ceremony in Dublin. We invited family and close friends, chose two songs and a reading (you’ll find it here), said our vows and signed our marriage certificate. The entire ceremony took less than 30 minutes. But they were a wonderfully moving 30 minutes. Making that commitment to each other and having it recognised was important.
There’s no denying that the introduction of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 was a big moment in the fight for equality for members of Ireland’s LGBT community.
For the first time same-sex couples were able to have their relationships legally recognised by the State. However, it doesn’t go far enough. There are still over 160 differences between civil partnerships and civil marriage.
On Monday Kerry County Council became the 14th local authority, since July 2012, in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) to pass a motion in favour of marriage equality.
With the latest Millward Brown Lansdowne poll showing that 75% of people would vote yes in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples it’s encouraging to see our local politicians back equality on this issue. Even if it is only a symbolic gesture.
Yes, there has been vocal opposition, by some councillors, to these motions but they have been shown time and time again to be within the minority.
Back in January I wrote about coming out to my family and mentioned that I didn’t have a big ah-ha moment when it came to realising that I was gay.
There were no questions. I didn’t struggle to figure myself out. I just was. Which was great until now.
Now, at the age of 28, the questions arise. With that comes the ups and downs, the what the fuck moments, the decision to either be the person I thought I was or the person I am now and the things, said and done, that have meant unnecessarily dragging others into my year of confusion.
How often have you taken one look at someone and made assumptions about what kind of personality they have, what they do for a living or who they sleep with that?
The who I sleep with assumption happens to me a lot because…shock of all horrors…I’m a feminine looking lesbian (femme) and this seems to confuse the hell out of people.