What a fantastic day for Northern Ireland! So much love in one place, you could almost taste it in the air. It’s was such a positive feeling being with so many people with common purpose, knowing you’re all there together united for a reason that’s good and meaningful, free from hate and filled with love. Arguably, it’s the most beneficial and wonderful feeling all us homos-apians can experience.
The streets were lined with people from all cultures, ages, backgrounds, faiths and identities, and of course some who happened to stumble across the rally and after realising its purpose happily joined in. I love those guys in particular. It’s great to welcome them and let them see what we see, let them hear what we have to say, engage with them and chat. To show them we don’t bother traveling from the other end of the country and beyond just for a sassy glittery unicorn rainbow party… although that does sound amazing 🙂
Perhaps if some of our politicians did the same, and came and engaged with us, they’d be more open to changing their minds.
What made my day was actually before the rally began. I was busy handing out Love Equality badges and chatting to Raymond and Ciaran, and a woman approached us with her little boy. She was so happy to be given badges and proudly pinned one to her jacket and one on her little lad. He must have been about four or five years old. She chatted away with us for few minutes about her disbelief that equal marriage wasn’t legal, and said many of the same things we say all the time. But the whole time I couldn’t help just look at this little kid, and think I hope things are better for him when he’s my age. And what a wonderful mother who’ll raise him, to be accepting of others and to be accepted himself. And even if this mum is just one in a million – although all mums are the best and are 1 in a gazillion! – there’s hope for the next generation.
I’m sure there may have been a few people there whose passion for marriage equality, and through no fault of their own, felt different today. With their views having been ignored for many years and their own history and experiences as a LGBTQ+ citizen being unfortunately darker than mine. I did see some more – how can I say it – ‘politically directed with colorful language’ banners, indicating that some were taking the opportunity to voice their frustrations. Weirdly, their banner slogans seem more memorable to me, perhaps that’s the point. I’d say I have a lot to thank some of the older marchers for, they were, in some ways, the pioneers and the reason I’ve had an easier time of being gay than they have had.
Who can blame them? Imagine feeling you’re being ignored, with your opinions and voices unheard, being made to feel like a ‘lesser’ version of others in society, being barraged with abuse for simply being who you are. It is no wonder that after so much time being stepped on, called names, picked on, bullied, frowned upon, and being treated unequally, that eventually, just maybe, they might defend themselves, fight back and shout louder. If that seems ‘in your face’ to those who oppose LGBTQ+ people protesting in the streets at today’s march and during Pride, then stuff them!
The Marriage Equality rally today ended with some great speeches that were really inspiring. All the messages were positive. I’m sure they’ll be online. I hope the world sees!