What is Pride Month? – Why is it important to celebrate?

Cover image is Pride themed. The background is a gradient of the pride colours. In the center image holds a picture of a pride flag blowing in the wind. The caption reads "What is Pride month? - and why is it important to celebrate?"


Many countries around the world celebrate Pride Month in June. Pride month is about acceptance, equality, and celebrating the work of LGBTQIA+ people, education in LGBTQIA+ history, and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community.

The celebration of Pride can mean different things to different people. Pride is celebrated in many ways, from large parades with floats, music, and pageantry to protests to draw attention to the violence and inequality that LGBTQIA+ people face. Pride is unique to each individual, so all forms of celebration are valid. The theme for this year’s Pride is – Protest. Remember. Celebrate.

Did you know?

The origins of Pride started as a response to a police raid on a pub that was popular with members of the LGBTIA+ community in New York in June 1969. These were known as the “Stonewall Riots,” now known as the “Stonewall Rebellion”.

Many raids like this occurred before, but the patrons fought back this time. The raid sparked an uprising among bar patrons and neighbourhood residents as police roughly threw employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and worldwide.

The Sexual Liberation Movement, a Dublin-based organisation founded in Trinity College Dublin in 1973, organised the first Gay Pride demonstration in Dublin on June 27, 1974.

As the gay rights movement grew, a decision was made in May 1974 at the annual congress of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality to dedicate Gay Pride Day 1974 to highlight the situation faced by homosexuals in Ireland and to offer their support to them, keep in mind homosexuality was still illegal until 1993.

The first Pride Parade took place on June 25th, 1983, organised by the National LGBT Federation. Two hundred (200) people marched the streets of Dublin. This was a response to the release of 5 men found guilty of the manslaughter of Declan Flynn in a homophobic attack.

Last year, approximately 50,000 members of the community and allies marched through Dublin City Centre proudly. Pride has come a long way over the past 40 years and continues to grow.


Why celebrate Pride?

Pride is celebrated to promote the constant fight for equality in this community. It is a platform to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Pride is a wonderful celebration rooted in a peaceful protest to open the eyes of those who struggle to see outside the binary to understand that gender and sexuality are fluid. That these differences are what make people unique.

As part of this week’s blog, we have decided to reach out to valuable members of the community who have continuously fought for LGBTQIA+ rights, and we asked them, “What does Pride mean to you?”


Here is what they said:

“An assertion of our common humanity.” – Senator David Norris (he/him)

“Pride, for me is a time for reflection and celebration.

Reflection on the work still to be done for full equality for all LGBTQIA+ people in Ireland and across the EU and the globe. We march in solidarity with those who still struggle to live a life free from discrimination and abuse.

It is also a time of celebration- celebrating the gains we have made in Ireland – from gender identity legislation and the winning of the Marriage Equality referendum in 2015 – the first country in the world to bring in this significant equal right by popular vote”. – Dr Gráinne Healy (she/her)

“Pride is a chance to come together, to share experiences, and to break silence. And it’s a chance to share our love with the city. It’s still important to hold public ground for LGBTQ identity-making – that’s why we march at Pride. It’s a chance for people to come out for the first time and march with their community, and it’s also a chance to acknowledge and remember the trailblazers who spent many lonely, hostile decades advocating for legislative change, engaging with Irish society on the need for change, and getting us, Ireland, to the point where we can rightfully say that we are beneficiaries of a new, modern and more caring social dispensation. – Senator Fintan Warfield (he/him)

“Pride means to me, togetherness, happiness, a time for remembering our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters that we’ve lost, a time to remember the people that fought for us to celebrate pride, a time to be proud of who we are and to be your true self” – Jack Shaun Murphy (he/him)


What events are taking place during the Pride Festival?

  • This year at Dublin Pride 2023, on June 24 at 12 noon, the Pride Parade starts on O’Connell Street and ends in Pride Village at Merrion Square. There is usually live music and food stalls.
  • Mother Pride Block Party on June 23 and 24, in the National Museum of Ireland in Collins Barracks. It is a weekend of Drag Performers, music, dancing and much more. This is a ticketed event available.
  • Mullingar Pride takes place Saturday, July 8 2023, with Werk Fest that evening in the Blackhall Place Car Park.
  • Limerick Pride LGBTQ Festival 2023 will be taking place starting from Monday, July 3, until Sunday, July 9, with the Parade on Saturday, July 8.
  • Kerry Pride is a full week of celebrations that take place between July 10-16. The Pride Parade is taking place in Killarney on Saturday, July 15.
  • Belfast Pride Festival runs from July 21 – Sunday 30th July. Parade on Saturday 29th July at 1 pm with the parade build-up starting from 11 am.
  • Cork Pride takes place between July 30 and August 6. The Pride Parade takes place on the final day of celebrations on the 6th of August in Cork City.
  • Galway Pride Festival takes place between the 7-13 August 2023.


Financial challenges within the LGBTQIA+ community

All communities are currently experiencing challenges, and the LGBTQIA+ community is no different. Beyond the emotional and familial difficulties people may experience, financial issues can occur for reasons beyond our control. At MABS, we listen with an open mind, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, community, or family status.

Many personal factors can lead to financial stress, such as finding accommodation due to a changed circumstance in your family home. This could mean you need to find accommodation. The current challenges in the housing market could further compound your personal and financial stress due to discrimination. This discrimination could be due to your sexual orientation. It may lead to a refusal to allow you to view or rent a property or a refusal to accept rent supplement supports.

This level of discrimination is against the law and conflicts with your human rights. If you have experienced this or other discrimination, we encourage you to contact the relevant authorities to report it. You can learn more about your rights by visiting the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission website.


Where can I seek support?

Devastatingly, there are still incidents of hate crime, discrimination, and judgement against those of the LGBTQIA+ Community today. However, there are resources that you can reach out to that can offer help:


Contact MABS

MABS supports the LGBTQIA+ community and ensures that all individuals no matter gender, sexuality, race, class, or religion are all welcome. We aim to help provide the people of Ireland with advice and support when it comes to financial stresses and to work to help those struggling.

You can reach MABS by calling our National Helpline on 0818 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 8 pm.

You can find details of your local office near you by visiting Find a MABS office.

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to make sure this information is accurate and correct, we strongly recommend that you do your own research and make your own informed decision. 

Note: We welcome references to and use of the content in this blog. However, please reference MABS and link said content if you choose to do so.