Evgeny Shtorn, from Russia, is a human rights activist and asylum seeker living in Ireland.
He writes in the Dublin Inquirer:
I had been looking forward to the recent Pride Parade in Dublin with excitement. Back in Russia, I had helped to organise Pride events, but had never actually taken part in a parade, as they were always banned by the authorities.
…Our group was articulating a specific issue. Our banners read, “we are here”, “queer direct provision”, and “end direct provision”.
…We were ready to march. For most of us, it was the first time in an explicitly LGBT event.
Before we could make our stand, though, we had to wait. We waited for hours for other groups to pass by – the majority were huge corporations, banks, chain shops and new media companies who used Pride to advertise.
One after another they marched, their corporate logos decorated with rainbows. Two hours later, we LGBT asylum seekers, and other LGBT community groups finally got our chance to move.
Most of those watching the parade, those we wanted to hear and see our messages so they could think about them, had already gone…
Photo: Jose Miguel Jiminez (Dublin Inquirer)