Friday, May 22, 2020

THIS day five years ago the people of Waterford turned out to polling stations in their droves to give a resounding yes to the same-sex marriage referendum.

Joy and relief were the overwhelming emotions felt the following day at the Waterford count centre, as it was officially announced that 60.3% voted yes and 39.7% voted against.

With this historic moment etched in their minds, Pride of the Déise have announced that they are planning to host an online Pride programme this June Bank Holiday weekend.

With events ranging from informative webinars and community storytelling to yoga and dance, there is something for everyone this May 29th to 31st.

The weekend dates had initially been reserved for a citywide pride celebration, with the group originally working with businesses, community organisations and interest groups to bring Pride back to the streets of Waterford.

When social distancing measures made this untenable, the group elected to move online instead. Chairperson of Pride of the Déise Cam Lyttle said: “While our ultimate hope was to bring people together physically in solidarity and celebration, there is still a lot that can be achieved while supporting the efforts to limit the impact of Covid-19. We feel honoured to be able to platform our community online, and share the vibrancy of Waterford and its LGBT+ community with a wider audience.

All the events are free, with most being streamed live across social media, some of the highlights include:

Scéal? – Pride is first and foremost about the community. As such the online festival will open with interviews and stories collected from members of the LGBT community presented via Pride of the Déise’s social media accounts from 2pm on Friday the 29th of May.

Pride Extravaganza – Put your glam suit on, strut your stuff inside and come join us in our online parade. To help you get your Pride on, we have teamed up with Open Tempo to bring you a soundtrack of fun and funky beats so we can march together along a virtual parade route on Saturday the 30th from 4pm. #WelcomeInWaterford or @DeisePride to join the virtual parade.

Live DJs – DJs Johnny and Dr. Phil from Open Tempo will be bringing live reggae, disco and house sets to our Facebook Page to help you dance the Saturday evening away. SYMØNE heads up our line-up with some high energy techno.

Youth Takeover – Our Sunday line-up is curated by and for LGBT+ Young people in collaboration with ChillOUT LGBTI+ Youth Group. Our Youth Committee will be hosting Instagram live events on LGBTI+ awareness at 12pm and music from Aliensincaves at 4pm via @PrideOfTheDeise on Instagram. There will also be closed events hosted via Zoom for LGBTI+ young people aged 13-18, with a Virtual Games Night at 2pm and Gayrea 51, a space themed youth pride party at 6pm. Contact @ChillOUT on social media or Youth Worker Debbie on 086 0218941 if you would like to attend.

Queer Vision @ Pride of the Déise – Celebrating Irish LGBTQIA+ Storytelling with an exciting programme of short films, documentaries, music videos and more in a live streaming event on Facebook, Friday the 29 th at 8pm.

Practical Self Care for Mental Health – Shauna Monaghan leads a Zoom webinar at 6pm on Friday the 29 th aiming to highlight some practical and realistic methods of looking after yourself and your mental health.

Yoga with Zenda – Fun energetic style yoga with Zenda hosted on Zoom Saturday afternoon at 2pm. Find out more about Pride of the Déise programme of events and preregister for closed sessions at www.prideofthedeise.ie or @DeisePride on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch out for the Pride of the Déise supplement in next week’s Waterford News & Star.

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