You’re ALL Friends of Dorothy

In stark contrast to disliking dressing up and generally being pretty bad at it, or outright refushing, this year I went all out.

Bringing it around to my disdain for much of what society deems worthy fashion for set genders, I didn’t want to be a pirate, a ninja, zombie, prisoner, priest, vampire, prisoner, doctor, etc., so I went for the much wider ranging ‘women’s’ section of the online fancy dress shop. Of course, Dorothy is almost synonymous with the LGBT community, for largely unknown reasons, but I got to wear a dress and stockings. In saying that, I won’t rush to wear a bra again.

Spirit Day — Stop Bullying

Since 2010 Spirit Day was formed as a show of support for young LGBT people who are victims of support, by wearing purple, or turning a photograph a distinct purple hue. Having experienced bullying I support anyone who faces bullying for their sexuality, or perceived sexuality.
Today I’m wearing a purple t-shirt and purple underwear.

While it is much easier today to be ‘out’ as LGBT, there are still many young people who don’t have it so easy. It is important to show support for victims, those who feel helpless and cannot be open as themselves.

For more on #SpiritDay see glaad.org .
Scott has a good piece on this on Elie

English Market, Cork

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy markets; I never visited St George’s Market in Belfast often enough. It really brightens up the city seeing so many people enjoying a Saturday/Sunday afternoon just aimlessly browsing the wares and stopping for coffee and a cupcake.

The Cork English Market is no different; lots of fresh produce, and local wares and a fantastic atmosphere. I would buy all the things.

Some Thoughts on Cork

The one thing you will notice about Cork is that Cork people love Cork. Every single Corkonian I’ve met over the years has confirmed this, and my most recent visit to the city, last month, was no different. I’m always reminded of Andrew Maxwell’s sketch on the topic. Anyone I have met who no longer lives in Cork does so only out necessity, whether it is for college or work, but ensure they return as often as possible. Others I know refuse to live elsewhere despite how it may be more convenient to live in a different part of the city.

With its two rivers running through the city, and essentially being an island in the middle, it can be a difficult place to navigate as an outsider (“…the other side of the river.” “Which one?”), but with the right people looking after me (thanks Will!), and Google Maps, I didn’t get too lost.

It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve never felt that way about Belfast, and I don’t know very many who do. It does it’s best, but I couldn’t travel the world telling everyone who much I loved it and yearned to return. However, it is partly due to Corkish people’s love of all things Cork that makes Cork people so lovely. Besides a bitter sense of humour and accent that makes mine sounds like the Queen’s English, they really are a nice people.

Cork Pride Pt3 — Parade

While it was a lot smaller than Pride in Belfast, there was a great community feel to the entire day.
Even the guards had a smile on their faces:

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Cork City Lord Mayor, Catherine Clancy, who hosted the parade.

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Stephen Spillane and Lord Mayor, Catherine Clancy

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My hosts for the weekend, Will and Stephen

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Me getting my nails done by The Lord Mayor’s sister-in-law. One of those ‘only in Ireland’ moments.

Cork Pride Pt2 — Parade

On 4th August a week of events in Cork culminated in a colourful parade through the city, with 3,000 people taking part and cheering at the sidelines. The theme of the parade was ’20 Years of Pride in Ireland’, celebrating 20 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

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Cork Pride Pt1 — Pride in the Park

I was in Cork for the closing weekend’s events of Cork Pride which ran this year between 29th July – 5th August. Sure it was a while ago now, but time has escaped me over the past month, however, please enjoy the photos to follow from this recent trip to the Rebel County. It was a superb weekend and I got to hang out with some great people.

Here are a few snaps from the Family Fair in Fitzgerald’s Park with a dog show, an assortment of sports, music and a lot of laughter. When I arrived it had just stopped raining, then the sun came out and all was good.

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Stephen giving it all with his winning handbag-toss.