Cork City’s 5th Annual LGBT Awareness Week: May 11th to 17th, 2015

Halla_na_Cathrach_i_gCorcaigh

“Halla na Cathrach i gCorcaigh” Photo by Assorti

In 2014, the Lord Mayor, flanked by City Councillors of all parties, formally raised the Rainbow Flag on City Hall, and Cork made history by becoming the first civic or public building to do so.

In 2015, to inaugurate LGBT Awareness Week, the Lord Mayor, with the Interagency Steering Group, will raise the  Rainbow flag at 11am on Monday May 11th, and this will be followed by community groups and public agencies across the city raising their own rainbow flags at 12 noon.

The Interagency Steering Group comprises Cork City Council, HSE South, Cork ETB, Dept. Of Social Protection, CESCA, TÚSLA, TENI, An Garda Síochána, Cork City Partnership, LINC, Gay Community Development, Cork Trans Support Group, Ballyphehane Togher CDP and Sexual Health Centre

The formal launch of Cork LGBT Awareness Week will take place in the Civic Offices  on Monday May 11th at 5pm  with the Lord Mayor, together with Guests of Honour  Valerie Mulcahy of Cork Ladies Football Team, and Supt Mick Finn of An Garda Siochána

Cork LGBT Awareness Week is organised to acknowledge and demonstrate that LGBT individuals are family members, community residents, constituents, citizens, visitors, service users and service providers. The purpose of LGBT week is to advance Objective 86 of the Cork City Development Board Plan 2002.

“The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities will be enabled to fully participate in the social, cultural and economic life of Cork City.”

The theme this year is Equality Matters – Equality matters to everyone and impacts on everyone. A diverse and equal city benefits all of us:  residents, citizens, communities, agencies, businesses and  public services.  Just as equality affects us all, so too does homophobia harm us all so in 2015 we want to say that  Equality matters; to everyone and for everyone.

The week will be primarily about raising awareness about how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people form part of the fabric of every aspect of life in Cork City. Choral ConFusion Cork’s LGBTS Choir will sing to launch LGBT Week and again in St Annes Shandon at the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia ( IDAHOT) Day Service to close Awareness Week.  Events will take place in community centres and third level colleges, there will be prose and poetry readings, debates by academics and students and information sessions on LGBT health needs and legal needs and a gala screening of the film Pride, hosted by the Chief Executive of Cork City Council, culminating in the “Picnic In The Park”

Saturday 16th 2-5pm: IDAHOT Day Event – Picnic in the Park, Bishop Lucey/People’s Park,  A family friendly event for citizens, communities and the city. The City’s Agencies and community groups will be represented; also face painting, busking and food stalls.

Homophobia is no picnic: it damages individuals, families, communities and our city. Homophobia diminishes all of us.  At the IDAHOT  Day Picnic in the Park we want to demonstrate that equality and inclusion can be fun, that an open tolerant city is a better city for everyone.

The message of the week is really quite simple, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and Trans people are your family members, team mates, co-workers, neighbours, and residents and visitors to Cork. As such they contribute in no small way to the image of Cork as a vibrant, open and welcoming City which is an attractive place to work, live and visit no matter what your sexuality.

When developing their strategic plan for the city (Imagine our Future) Cork City Development Board worked with the gay and lesbian organisations in Cork (LINC and The Cork Gay Project) to ensure the strategic plan took into account the vibrant lesbian and gay communities that exist in the City. Cork has a long and proud tradition of lesbian and gay activism and this continued with the inclusion of “Objective 86” in the 10 year plan. Objective 86 clearly states that

The Gay, Lesbian and bisexual communities will be enabled to

   fully participate in the social, cultural and economic life of Cork City”

To that end an interagency group of the relevant social partners was set up and led by the City Development Board (CDB). This group has met on a regular basis since and have delivered a number of training and awareness raising actions and this is our fifth LGBT Awareness Week organised around IDAHOT Day on May 17th.

For the full program visit Facebook page “Cork’s LGBT Awareness Week” or follow us on Twitter @CorkLGBTWeek

 

 

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