In 2017 Outwest will celebrate being in existence 20 years, over the past two decades it has been organising social events for the rural and isolated members of the LGBT+ community. Covering the west of Ireland Outwest has been a much needed and well used organisation that continues and endeavours to offer a safe space for the LGBT+ community, its family, friends, and allies. Offering a confidential helpline to those in crisis the organisation recruited volunteers to listen and support people and offer a befriending service to those who struggled to meet likeminded people.
To celebrate offering support and events for 20 years Outwest is joining together with the community, local organisations, and the public to develop and produce the first Mayo LGBT+ Pride celebrations. A public meeting is planned for December 14 at 9pm in the Humbert Room at the TF Royal Hotel in Castlebar. Some committee members of the hugely successful 2016 Galway Pride have offered to get on board and help organise the event as well as renowned choreographer and local celebrity Jay Molyneux. “This is a huge opportunity for the LGBT+ community and its allies to celebrate and show what Mayo has to offer,” said Cathy Blake, the current chairperson of the main Outwest committee. “Many people have already offered support,” said Martin Hughes, Outwest secretary, “and we’ve already got ideas of fundraisers and the main event but it would be great if more people could get involved, and especially if the LGBT+ community would tell us what they want. It’s their Pride after all.” If any groups would like to take part they are encourage to contact Outwest at [email protected] or on (087 ) 9725586 and attend the meeting on December 14.