Spreading the Pride 

The Galway Community Pride Festival will take place this weekend and the event includes a show which takes place tomorrow (Friday ) in the Bank of Ireland Theatre beside the College Bar at NUI Galway. Gender Fabulosity is being organised by Galway Pride member Ivan Fahy and is described as a ‘gender liberating fashion show’ which is about people enjoying themselves and expressing themselves in the way they want to, and feel most comfortable.

The organiser says Gender Fabulosity is about taking away all our internalised fear about openly going out as yourself. “Participants will be dressing freely in things they want to wear and maybe this does not always abide by societal norms. Sometimes I feel it myself if I want to go down town wearing something a little ‘out there’ that I need a little reassurance. There are 11 people taking part and and the audience is obviously going to be extremely supportive because that is why they are attending.’’

The show, which will also include live music and burlesque performances, promises to be a great nights entertainment. Ivan says anybody who wishes to experience a slightly alternative night out should go along. “It is something new and different and I hope people support it. I love to see people I don’t recognise attending. I think it will be a mind broadening experience. The other difference is this is a non-alcoholic event that is open to under-18s so it is not limiting the audience.”

Support

Ivan, who is a native of the Tuam Road area, knew he was gay from a young age and says he is grateful to have had huge support from his parents with whom he has a very close relationship. “I did not have a ‘coming out’ experience as such, as I just always knew and my parents did also. They never asked me any questions and are both very open minded despite coming from very traditional backgrounds.’’

This articulate young man says that joining Galway Pride and activism within the LGBT community can only be a positive thing as it widens your social network. “We are very lucky to have such a great gay scene in Galway. I want every gay person to feel they have a support network and not feel they have to hide who they are.’’

He is a big believer that ‘Pride’ is about much more than being gay, lesbian, or transgender. “It is about being yourself, being happy within yourself - having self pride as such.’’

The resounding Yes vote in the same sex marriage referendum earlier this year is obviously something which was of huge significance to every member of the LGBT community, and he is no different. “It was so important that people voted that gay love is exactly the same as the love between a man and a woman, and that it is now classed the same in the eyes of the law. To be honest I was really unsure how the referendum would go, and it was amazing watching all the results coming in. I was getting shivers down my spine. I followed a lot of the coverage on the international stations, and to see them all speak about Ireland in such a positive light was wonderful. We are a small, Catholic, country which has now paved the way for others to follow suit.’’   

+To follow Ivan on Facebook or find out more about tomorrow’s event go to Facebook.com/IvanFahy

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