PRIDE

Valentine’s Day

The day of love is just around the corner, so make sure to grab yourself the perfect card here!

And with Marriage Equality on everyone’s lips in Ireland, we truly hope this is the last Valentine’s Day that Lesbian and Gay couples have to face as second class citizens.#VoteYES

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Listen: Mid-Week Tune – Heathers ‘Forget Me Knots’

This week we’re keeping it local again with Ireland’s very own twin duo, Heathers. These Dublin girls wrote their first album whilst studying for their Leaving Cert. Most of us barely manage to tackle the exams alone. In this tune they also tackle a topic close to many people’s hearts. Have a listen to their upbeat and inspiring track ‘Forget Me Knots‘.

Depression has hit the news most recently due to the recent death of loved actor Robin Williams. And while this has been a devastating blow to many worldwide, the suffering which he endured is still an everyday struggle for countless numbers of people. When we hone in on LGBT mental health in Ireland, the stats are hard to ignore. A whopping 25% of girls, and 15% of boys have tried to end their own lives at least once*. Being a good friend to someone can be challenging at the best of times. In recent days, many people have felt the need to address the subject. I read something that hit home, ‘it’s the hardest thing in the world to be a friend of someone with depression. But it’s also the most rewarding.’ It is damn hard. But it should be harder to do nothing. Don’t do nothing.

You can’t walk away from this song and not have ‘it’s alright not to feel ok‘ swimming around in your head. Never a truer word spoken.

 

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(*supporting LGBT lives study)

For support or information on LGBT depression, please contact BeLonGTo

8 Things You Hear When You’re Gay

If you’re LGBT, here are just 8 things you have most likely heard at some stage. Prepare for some serious eye rolling.

1. ‘Tell me your coming out story!’

Yes, because that’s a light hearted story I’d love to share.

 

2. ‘So which one of you girls is the boy?’

What? Neither of us. That’s the point!

 

3. ‘I went to a gay bar once, but all the guys came on to me.’

Sure they did! We all believe you.

 

 4. ‘Ugh, that’s so gay. No offence!’

This better be on route to extinction.

 

5. ‘Did you binge watch Orange is the New Black?’

Ok, you can have that one.

 

6. ‘There’s a gay guy in work, do you know him?’

Of course! Why wouldn’t I know this completely random person you work with?

 

7. ‘But, you don’t look gay!’

Apologies, I left my feather boa back in 1985.

 

8. And finally, ‘What exactly… do you do?’

Just.. no. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Gender Identity: Ruby Breaks Free

Gender identity is a person’s private sense of their own gender. In all societies there is a basic division between gender attributes assigned to males and females. For a lot of people it can be pretty simple. A biological male can be completely comfortable being categorised in all aspects assigned to men. For many others however, it’s not as straight forward. People can identify anywhere along the gender spectrum. This can mean the opposite sex, or anywhere in between the two sexes. Repression can arise when society reacts offensively or inappropriately to a person’s display of their unique gender identity. Whether rooted in ignorance or discrimination, it is this reaction which is becoming a much discussed topic among those who are affected by it.

Australian model, DJ and LGBT spokesperson Ruby Rose recently released a short film which focused on this subject of gender identities. Rose is known for genderbending, and in her own words, it’s a ‘short film about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo’.

There is no doubt that Rose is a beautiful person. In response to the video, there have been countless messages of support and love. But as we could cynically predict, not all reaction has been positive. Some people have commented that she ‘looks better’ at the beginning when she portrays a more socially acceptable feminine identity. I’ve even heard one person say that she ‘ruined herself by cutting off her hair and stuff’. Now whether they missed the entire point of the video or not is questionable, because it’s unfathomable to me how one could think that the awkward, clearly uncomfortable Rose, ‘ruined herself’ by embracing the androgynous identity at the end which she clearly feels comfortable with. It showed me that there are people in society who would rather see someone portray and live in an identity they do not hold but it socially acceptable, rather than #breakfree and live the identity that they truly possess.

What I found worst of all was that this opinion came from a member of the LGBT community. I don’t know why that should be worse than if the opinion came from a straight person. Perhaps it’s because LGBT discrimination usually comes from those outside the community. I find it uncomfortable and hypocritical to experience it coming from someone within, who is all too familiar with certain societal restraints impressed on those who identify as LGBT. Rose obviously picked up on this herself as she posted the following on her Facebook page:

“You know what needs to stop just as much as homophobia, bullying within the LGBT Community… A ‘bisexual’ isn’t just greedy.. ‘Pansexual’ exists and isn’t a cop out.. ‘Straight’ people can be gay huge advocates and blessings to the community… you can identify as trans without surgery, you can be gender fluid… in fact guess what… you can be whoever you are and like whoever you like and WE should spread the love and acceptance we constantly say we don’t receive. I will delete any inter fan/follower bullying.. because its so backwards and does not belong on my page.”

We have an ongoing struggle in this world for equality and acceptance in the lives of LGBT people. But if we have discrimination within the community, how can we hope to eliminate discrimination from outside it? I applaud Rose for her brave portrayal of a sensitive topic. I hope that it generates recognition and acceptance for anyone who relates to her story. I already know of one person who has been inspired, and so at least for that Ruby, I am grateful.

Listen: Pride Mid-Week Tune, Scissor Sisters ‘Let’s have a kiki’

Finally, it’s time for your Pride mid-week tune! And is there really any other choice but Scissor Sisters‘ absolute anthem, ‘Let’s Have a Kiki’? It’s doubtful. So fire up the smoke machine and put on your heels, ‘cause this is exactly what we need.

This American pop group were literally born out of New York’s gay scene. Their infectious and fabulous beats have been embraced as gay anthems in countries worldwide. The Scissor Sisters use language, themes and humour in their songs that are perfectly unique to the gay scene. Most famously, a ‘kiki’ is drag queen slang for a good time. There’s an entire gay culture which is hilarious, fabulous and enriching. It’s this culture that we try tap into with our products at Scene Designs, and it’s one of the best things about Pride. There ain’t no escaping it. (Unless of course you sit it out in favour of a Hollyoaks omnibus at home).

Making up roughly 8% of the population, the LGBT community is certainly a minority in Ireland. And most days, it’s not so easy to forget that. But surrounded by rainbow clad family and friends on Pride, we can almost feel like the majority. It’s about coming together, celebrating accomplishments and fighting for more. There’s something really special about seeing that rainbow flag displayed in pubs, shops and restaurants throughout the city at this time. Celebrities even come out and show their support. Cyndi Lauper led the celebrations at NY Pride when I visited in 2012. George Takei can’t be kept away from the parade! At Mother last year I was standing in the queue for the bathroom chatting away to the girl in front of me. After a while I said to her, ‘you know you look really like that girl Vogue?’ Yeah… it was that girl Vogue. Mortification aside, it was brilliant to have her and Brian out to celebrate with us.

So enjoy the tune and embrace the week. You’re fabulous. I wish you all a kiki this Pride!

 

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