My Sister & I Attend Dublin Pride 2019!


Yesterday me and my sister Sharon attended our first Pride in Dublin. It was a really wonderful day out for both of us.

We were on the train and some other people on the train were going to the parade. At one point, I did hear one of them saying when talking about someone who was bisexual that bisexuality meant to them to quote being a ‘greedy bastard’ so yeah, lovely support there from the community. I dread to think what this person would think of a pansexual. But I didn’t care. I was sitting happy and proud with my pansexual pin which I was happy arrived from Amazon in time for the parade.

Thankfully after that, there was no further jerks we encountered as the day went on. As we arrived in Dublin, I spotted a grand spot we could go watch the parade at through the train windows and it was where we ended up and it was a fantastic spot. We had this rainbow flag which we were holding between us and I had my rainbow bag and pansexual pin and we were wearing some of the rainbow colours.

There was brilliant colour, great music and just an all-round community atmosphere of pride, equality and fun. We seen several dogs which for a person who loves dogs, I couldn’t stop awing at them in their little coats, flags, scarves, ribbons, etc … or without. There was a little terrier with a mini rainbow scarf tied to the back of them, a sausage dog with a flag who found a paper bag on the ground and was trying to find food in it, a pug all dressed in a mini rainbow t-shirt, a dog up on a float and several other darlings that just took my heart.

We got took in a photograph. I’m still trying to find it but I’d love to see the picture. There was someone going around taking photographs. The sausage dog was took as well. Still haven’t found that photograph either but I would love to see it too.

We didn’t see all the floats but we seen most of them and I’ll list here who we seen. Amazon were there with Abba’s Gimme, Gimme, Gimme playing. As a regular customer of Amazon, it seemed apt that their choice of Abba song was my favourite Abba song. We seen the float by The George which was fun. The Dublin Bus we seen too. We got free flags from them so that was nice. It was a great float and it was nice to see Panti Bliss. We also seen floats by many of the political parties like Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein. The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and health minister Simon Harris were there marching with Fine Gael. We seen Aer Lingus’ float with all the fake planes which was cool. The Army was there playing some music. The GAA was there. Katherine Lynch, Brian Kennedy and Valerie Mulchy were marching with them. RTE was there and Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O’ Brien were marching with them. We also seen Citi, Indeed, Coilite, Twitter, Google, RAHM, LinkedIn, Dropbox, AXA, Aviva, An Post, Sporting Pride, Emerald Warriors, Leinster Rugby and Bank of Ireland (who did a little of rugby for the crowd), Dublin Devils FC, Frontrunners, Wet and Wild, Flaming Feathers Badminton Club, Out2Tennis, Pink ladies Hockey, Out and About Hiking Club, Sky, Macra Na Feirme (with a rainbow tractor), Groupon with Soar, Salesforce, Mastercard, RNLI, Paypal, Grant Thornton, Bord Gais, The Outing, Fre Now (My Taxi), Asana, Qualtrics, Dell EMC, Adobe Customer Solutions, Workday, Accenture, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cognizant Technology, Airbnb, Autodesk, RSA, Ikea, AIB, ESB, Nestle, Primark, Fidelity, Irish Life, KPMG, Ulster Bank, Websumit, HubSpot, Oracle, Deutche Bank, Irving/Top Oil, Press Up, Symantec, Workhuman, Wix Online Platforms Ltd, Intel, ViaSat, Alexion, Argos, Barclays, Bayer Limited, Bearing Point, Bristol Myers Squibb, Brown Brothers Harriman, Cartrawler, Demonware, Disney, Docusign, Expedia, Fenargo, HSBC, IBM, ISS, LogMeIn Ireland Ltd, Majorel, Mercer, New Relic, Northern Trust Hedge Fund, P&G, Pinterest, PWC, Seimens, Sunlife, Telnyx, Twillo, Verison, Volt, WeWork, Zendesk, Garda Marching Band, G Force, Public Service, Coast Guard, HSE, Prison Services, Facebook, Ebay and Microsoft. The latter I think we got a free colour stamp of the rainbow colours from. If I’m being honest I thought the little stamp thing was a Tic Tac machine so when the person asked me where I wanted it put I decided on the front of my hand but thankfully they didn’t take me as thick and it was a nice freebie. I’ll just have to keep that in mind for next year! Someone also high-fived me which was cool. I didn’t catch what float they were from though.

There was great music at the event. I liked a lot of the tunes but it is definitely my sister’s playlist which we were joking about because most of them are some of her favourites. We had Abba hits like Dancing Queen and Gimme, Gimme, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Madonna’s Vogue, YMCA by The Village People, a Disney track, a bit of Girls Aloud and The Spice Girls, I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 and Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen among the tracks. Freddie Mercury’s voice sounded as wonderful as ever. There was wonderful samba music and great drum-playing too.

I won’t mention what float it was but there was someone blowing kisses specifically to me from one of the floats. It was very flattering. Don’t think I knew how to react in the moment. I’m awkward and introverted after all but yeah, it was nice. Surreal but nice. And yeah, I found them very good-looking too! 🙂

When we got back home, we were in Supervalu where we had a chat with one of the people that worked there who was asking us if we had been to the parade. Supervalu have actually been great about Pride this year. There is flags up and some of the staff members have been wearing the rainbow colours.

I would have loved to have seen Bi+ Ireland, TENI, Irish Cancer Society, Amnesty International and the Humanist Association of Ireland because I do love the work of these organisations so maybe I’ll see them and all the other organisations, etc … we missed at some stage in the future.

So my sister and I are no longer Pride virgins! It was a fantastic day! 🙂

The following is a great photo album by a photographer called William Murphy from the day:

DUBLIN LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE 2019 [NEAR MOSS STREET - TALBOT BRIDGE]-153936

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Banter – A Non-Malicious Two-Way Street

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You probably hear the word banter bandied around often and in so many cases that you lose count of, it doesn’t seem to be banter. Banter is a non-malicious two-way street. Often we see this isn’t incorporated into situations where one friend is in a particular minority group and the other friend is from a particular majority group. This blog post is not about people who have a non-pc, close to the bone sense of humour and banter. It’s about people who make jokes about a certain aspect of someone and that aspect of themselves they can’t take the piss out of. For example if a girl and a guy are mates it is banter and meant in a fun, non-malicious way when the guy says, ‘The woman’s place is in the home and with all life’s gentle stuff’ if they can equally joke about themself being a ‘guy who works because being a man I’m emotionally repressed.’ And if she is joking about herself as a woman and him as a man then it’s humour. It’s not humour if it’s a one-way street under any circumstances. Ever.

 

I have heard both sides of this debate and I fall more in the middle with my thoughts on it. Sometimes I have a bit of non-pc humour and then certain relationships you have kind of demand you to step it up in that regard because the other person would have that humour. But for the most part it isn’t really a huge part of my humour or my banter. I’d be more a mimic but I don’t mind mimicing myself either or others mimicing me. It’s all in fun. But on one side of this debate, you have people who say under no circumstances should certain things be joked about. I disagree with that because if it’s genuinely meant in humour, it’s not meant to hurt anybody. It also shows up the stupidness of the comments themselves. Kind of like good satire. And also when someone takes the piss out of you a lot, it’s generally because they like you and they feel comfortable with you. The other side of the debate is that people are too sensitive and don’t know how to take a joke. I also disagree with this. This is very often said by people in majority groups who don’t like jokes being made in that aspect about themselves. They may or may not mind people making jokes about them in other aspects but they think that aspect of themselves is protected from the humour mill. Like for example two mates going to a gay bar, one straight lad, one gay lad. The straight lad says, ‘I’ll have to watch my arse with all you gay lads here tonight.’ and the gay lad says, ‘All the lesbians will have to watch their arses with you around.’ and the straight lad replies with no hint of a smile, ‘I’m not a pervert.’ Now in a situation like that, one would have to wonder if the straight lad meant his own first sentence as a joke which was apparently a joke in the first place. If the straight lad takes the gay lad’s joke as a joke then it’s all mutual banter between the two of them.

 

I think that is the problem at the heart of all this. It’s not necessarily the things that are said but the intention behind them. But the intention becomes questionable when someone gets defensive about a joke being made the opposite way around.

 

Obviously there are exceptions to this with non-pc jokes or any jokes really. If someone has had a bad experience with certain words or situations such as being bullied in the past about who they were in whatever aspect it is, a good friend won’t open that wound in a person. After all, however hard they try they might not see the person saying it now but the person or people who said these things in the past and who said them from a very different perspective. Often it is people who are in minority groups who have had bad experiences like this but it can occasionally happen the other way as well. A good friend would respect this and would know a joke isn’t worth bringing up very hurtful memories to a person over. We all have scars and if someone isn’t comfortable with you scratching at those scars, it’s not really cool to do so.

 

 

Woman Racially Abused On Ryanair Flight By Man

 

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I was utterly disgusted by the conduct of passenger David Mesher recently on a Ryanair flight when he racially abused fellow passenger Delsie Gayle just before a flight from Barcelona for Stansted Airport on October 19th.

 

In the vile rant, Mesher, who is white, called Gayle, who is a person of color, “an ugly black bastard” as he was disgruntled that she didn’t move fast enough for him to pass into his seat. He also rambled in his rant by saying,

“Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid cow. If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you in another seat.”

The ugly incident was filmed by fellow passenger David Lawrence. The footage shows Gayle’s daughter Carol Gayle defending her mother and showed another fellow passenger intervening and saying to Mesher that there was no need for his racial conduct.

In the aftermath of the incident, the police in Spain and England have investigated the incident and have spoken to Mesher. He has also said,

“I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up. I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think. I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”

But Gayle has refused his apology saying,

“It’s going to take a long time for me to accept his apology and everything, because I feel very low and degraded for him to call me those names. It’s going to take a long time for me to get over it. I didn’t look at it (the interview on This Morning) because I was crying.”

Her daughter said,

“I’m not going to say anything at the moment because we’ve only just seen ‘This Morning’ – it’s still a lot to take in.”

 

It is awful to see the abuse that Delsie Gayle has went through. I’m just very glad it was caught on camera because otherwise there would be no proof of the incident and nothing would probably be done. I think it’s a disgrace that he was left on the flight. He should have been removed. It is terrible that this discrimination and abuse is still going on and Mesher’s apology is pretty pathetic. When losing your temper, race doesn’t even come into it unless you are racist and he was extremely aggressive too. It is the easiest thing in the world to say you aren’t racist after displaying racist conduct. If you truly aren’t racist, or at the very least certain things in your make-up aren’t or currently aren’t from a racist place, you wouldn’t act in a racist way.

I find it very heartbreaking hearing the pain this incident has caused to Delsie Gayle and it is important to remember that our words can hurt people. Is that the kind of people we are? Do we really want to go out of our way to hurt other people?

 

 

The Double Standards Of Political Correctness

 

 

I have a problem with the term Politically correct. Mainly because it’s always used when somebody shows ordinary decent respect for people from minority groups. But when someone shows the same ordinary decent respect for people from majority groups when does anyone ever say they are being Politically correct for doing so?

 

This kind of attitude shows to me a deeper problem with certain parts of society. Many seem to take it as a given that people should treat everyone in majority groups with complete respect. Yet see it as debatable whether that same complete respect should be given to people in minority groups. As humans, we’re all equal so the way I see it is that it has to be one way or the other. If I’m being Politically correct for example when I call a transgender woman she then surely I’m being Politically correct when I call a cisgender woman she. But is anyone going to say that I’m Politically correct in the second situation?

 

Taking myself as an example and various parts of who I am. Many wouldn’t say it was Politically correct for someone to be respectful towards me for being white and cisgender but they would say someone was being Politically correct for being respectful towards me for being female or pansexual. And that leaves you wondering, what does that mean exactly? That minority groups are so unlikable that to show ordinary decent respect would have to be Political correctness? That it couldn’t god forbid, be sincere?

 

I’m a very big believer in freedom of speech. But I think the way people talk about freedom of speech nowadays is very misleading. Everyone who seems to speak about it seems to parrot the same thing about how freedom of speech is being took away from people who want to have negative opinions about minority groups and I can’t take that argument seriously if they never say they believe in it for people to have negative opinions about majority groups. They say they want debates on whether minority groups live right. When do they ever say let’s have debates on whether majority groups live right? These people to me want freedom of speech and protection all in one go and they don’t seem to want people in minority groups to have either. So while I’m all for freedom of speech I think majority groups should be just as fair game to be spoken about negatively just like everybody else.

Please Help Gerber – A Sweet, Little Cat Who Needs Your Help Urgently

 

 

 

Gerber, a sweet little Persian cat, needs your help. The story of this adorable cat has completely captured my heart. Gerber is severely dehydrated  and in urgent need of ongoing fluids and medicine injections to keep him alive. His owner Wendi Bear rescued him from a shelter five months ago when Gerber’s previous owner passed away. The shelter told Bear that Gerber needed special urinary food to keep him healthy at the time but recently Gerber stopped eating regularly. In response to his lack of eating, Bear took him to a vet who said he should be put on a new brand of food. But this didn’t help Gerber. His owner then took him to another vet who said Gerber should already have being on fluids. The hospital stay was too expensive however.

Gerber might not make a full recovery but funds are urgently needed to keep him alive. His owner who affectionately calls him Gerby says that he is “a gentle soul who loves nothing more than lying in the morning sun and purring under the touch of a soft hand.” And he certainly looks like a little sweetheart in his photographs.

Earlier today I donated to the campaign on the Go Fund Me website and I urge and beg you all to do the same if you can. Anything you can spare I’m sure will be very much appreciated. If you are not in a financial position to donate at present please share Gerber’s story far and wide. Any of us who have had pets in our lives who we loved know how enriching they are to our lives and how special and loving our friends, because that’s what are pets are, are. Please do what you can. Let’s all band together and help little Gerber. Please don’t stand by and do nothing. He needs our help. Stand with Gerber whatever way you can today.

To donate or share Gerber’s campaign go to:

https://www.gofundme.com/gerby

 

Top Seven Highlights From Comic Relief 2015!

A brilliant night of comedy and most importantly charity fundraising. The annual Comic Relief extravaganza, which was started by comedian Lenny Henry and comedy writer Richard Curtis in 1985, had another wonderful night filled with music and sketches and lots of fun. Let’s take a look at seven highlights from this important, prestigious night:

Sam Smith & John Legend’s Performance and Music Video

The two of these artists have such incredible, powerful and emotive voices and they sound amazing on the official Comic Relief song for 2015 Lay Me Down, a duet of Sam’s song.

National Treasure Sketch

Staring Stephen Fry, Sheridan Smith and Miranda Hart as the judges of who should be added as a national treasure and starring stars such as David Walliams, David Gandy, Cheryl Cole, Russell Brand, Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher who eventually was the new national treasure as well as Ronnie Corbert this sketch was so funny. Really well-written and very imaginative. Loved it.

James Bond Sketch

Starring stars such as Ben Whishaw, Alan Carr, Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts, the Bond Sketch was full of humour.

David Walliams’ Kissathon & His & Davina McCaul’s Smooching Session With Orlando Bloom

David Walliams broke the kissathon World Record. Also David & Davina McCaul kissed Orlando Bloom who made a surprise appearance as well.

Little Britain Sketch

Stephen Hawking and Catherine Tate joined David Walliams for this year’s Little Britain sketch. The graphics, one word: Amazing! This sketch was very original and fab.

Cassidy & Natalie Win The People’s Strictly

Cassidy Little is so amazing and he and Natalie Lowe danced this Paso to perfection. Well-deserved win.

Victoria Wood Wins Comic Relief’s Bake-Off

Beating off competition from the other finalists Gok Wan, Jennifer Saunders and Michael Sheen, Victoria Wood took the honours in the Comic Relief’s Bake-Off.

Currently £78,082,988 has been raised in funds.

To Help go to:

https://secure.donate.comicrelief.com/

Graham Jones’ Davin Brings Suicide To The Fore For World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and a very important film called Davin was released in advance of today. Directed by Irish director Graham Jones, the film is about the death by suicide of an Irishman Davin and how his loved ones deal with his death by suicide.

Jones says:

“It’s a great idea to have a specific date every year when the issue of suicide is highlighted. However, sometimes it feels as if the day just comes and goes without enough attention from those of us outside the support services. This small indie movie is a humble attempt as filmmakers, actors and musicians to send a message to anyone who may be at risk of entering this emotional space. You are not alone.”

I am very proud that an Irish director has created a film with such depth and meaning. It is very important that suicide and depression are spoken about in a world where these parts of life are still seen as a stigma by many people leaving a lot of people feeling isolated and alone.

It is an incredibly thought-provoking script and each of the cast are wonderful in it. It is a realistic script and a very brave film to make and the dialogue is very moving. The way that the film is told from the characters’ perspectives drives the emotive and powerful force of the script and helps to hammer it’s vital message home. It adds a human face to suicide and depression which is very important.

You can view the film here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtElIIJ1YuI&feature=youtu.be