Sinful Pride

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Evgeny Shtorn

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…

Evgeny: My first pride parade wasn’t quite what I’ve hoped for (Dublin Inquirer)

Photo:  Jose Miguel Jiminez (Dublin Inquirer)

29 thoughts on “Sinful Pride

  1. Jesús, María, and Josépha

    Fair comment.

    I noticed the Queer Action Ireland posters still up in Dublin long after the Out At Tesco t-shirts have gone…

    https://twitter.com/QueerActionIrl

    Love that Amazon Alexa one…

    I agree with him.

    “Other speakers talked about Pride as a protest. Let’s give the Pride Parade its original meaning back. Let’s never forget how it started. Let’s never forget the fear that those who were marching first, and those of us who live in fear and are marching for the first time, are feeling.”

  2. Holden MaGroin

    As I understand it the running order is directed on a first come, first served basis. The earlier you apply to Dublin Pride the better.

    I was in a similar group that got shafted last year and felt that community groups should go before corporations.

  3. Shayna

    Marketeers for corporations seem to jump on whatever band-wagon appears right-on, almost defeating the object in the process. I called into my local bank in Belfast yesterday, and on the plasma screen behind the clerks, it read, “Santander, Proudly Supporting Belfast Pride.” Evegny’s frustration is understandable.

    1. Rob_G

      I’m sorry that Evegny’s group missed out on the better part of the day, but isn’t the fact that big banks and corporations are falling over themselves to be seen jumping on the equality bandwagon show just how far we have progressed as a society?

      I’m sure that people working in banks who marched in pride were worried about getting fired back in the day; now their banks are falling over themselves in lame tie-ins. That’s the thing about an idea becoming accepted, it becomes a victim of its own success.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Absolutely agree. Festivals get sponsors and grow bigger and with more bling, and so invariably lose their rawness and fun. Pride is not the only event that reached this point.

        For what it’s worth, the best Pride I attended in Dublin was 2010 when it clashed at College Green with the annual Zombie Walk. Hilarious scenes.

        1. mildred st meadowlark

          That was amazing. It just so happened that it was the first Pride fest I’d ever been to and none have lived up to expectations since then.

      2. Nigel

        Greenwashing it’s called when they fake eco-friendliness. Fake corporate social consciousness should get a name, too.

  4. Janet, I ate my avatar

    I don’t know if anyone has been watching Stephen Fry’s documentary about homophobia across the world but it’s heart wrenching stuff and he explains why even if you are not gay the impact the issue has on everyone and their humanity

    1. Shayna

      I saw the documentary on Russia with Stephen Fry, harrowing to say the least. Gay men are kidnapped and taken to a forest, released and told to run – fascists with guns then hunt them as if they’re wild boar. Youtube have many postings on this – scenes that would have one doubt humanity.

  5. SOQ

    There is a pushback against corporate sponsorship which is understandable, particularly as some of the companies have cynical motives and questionable backgrounds.

    But as pointed out before, the organisation this year left a lot to be desired with large gaps and delays in the actual parade which is likely to have added to the frustration of those at the back.

  6. Grace

    The pride parade has been woeful in the last couple of years – it is now so bland and corporate as to be unrecognizable from the feisty, community and activist based spirit of prides of years past.
    I’m sorry Evgeny was not around to experience pride in its heyday – 2008-2014* – when the pushback against civil partnership happened and calls for marriage equality were loud and growing.

    (Only started going to pride in 2004 so can’t speak about parades before then!)

    1. SOQ

      Well I’ve been doing prides since the early 90s and I thoroughly enjoyed Dublin this year but if it’s a protest you want then get yourself up to Belfast on 4th August?

          1. SOQ

            SOQ was gay since before the flood. A nice dodo hairdresser called Maurice and I blagged out way onto the ark, which kind of explains a few things. *shrugs*

          2. Cian

            Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

            wait a minute – are you saying you *caused* the flood? O.M.g.

  7. johnny

    i love Ireland i love the gays here i love the parade-now can you change everything !
    a rather ungrateful uninvited ‘guest’ some may say entitled and extremely self centered-can EVERYONE please make the parade about ME………

    1. Ciuncainteach

      Here we go again.

      Clearly state your point Johnny. What is it *specifically* that you are taking issue with Frontline for this time?

      1. johnny

        its very upsetting that young Evgeny wasn’t grand marshal off the parade-could Front Line not have also arranged that !
        so the govt funds Front Line which DOB sits on the board off and founded-but lives for tax purposes in sunnier climes-who arrange transportation and visas for ‘journalists’ (which hes not) to seek asylum in Ireland.
        “In Ireland the asylum law is very bad, a very high percentage of applications fail. People who are waiting for asylum don’t have the right to work and wait for 20 months for a decision. Front Line Defenders have taken me in for three months,”
        Sweden refused take him so Front Line decided to fly him to Ireland – is it like a people / refugee smuggling shop ?
        where’s he even from -” I’d been a citizen of Kazakhstan” WTF dos this mean…
        anyway its a shame the parade was a disappointment for him……….

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