I always knew I was a star and now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me- Freddy Mercury
Looking around a room that’s full of people that are friends of mine, the first thing that comes to mind is not their sexual orientation, rather it’s something along the lines of ‘I wonder is Pete free for lunch at 1pm?’ or ‘Did Leah do her French homework for class today?’. In Ireland today it is true that some homophobia does still exist to a certain extent, but it is much easier to walk hand in hand around the main streets of our capital city, Dublin, than it was twenty years ago.
Recently in college we held a night where several members of the LGBT community of Ireland came and told us what it was like for them growing up as a LGBT person before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland in 1993. After hearing their stories I felt a relief that I in 2013 do not have to experience the same threats, hardships and fear that they felt in a state that did not recognize them for who they were. One of the men that was at the talk on this night, informed the audience of how the police constantly raided parties the LGBT community had and confiscated, wait for it….. ‘The gay’ music records that were so ‘dangerous’ they needed to be taken away and destroyed. These records included music by extremely famous pop stars such as Madonna and Queen.
I am happy to say that today my friends and I continue to dance to music by these artists without any obnoxious interruptions from the government, police or anybody else for that matter. LGBT marriage is not yet legal in Ireland; however a recent poll taken in 2013 showed that 75% of Irish people agreed that “same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution”. My college society also recently won best LGBT college society in Ireland at the GALAS (Gay and Lesbian awards). It was at this night that I witnessed and fully realized the amount of support that LGBT people have in Ireland. I now know how lucky I am to live in a country where I am not scared to be who I truly am without being discriminated against. I now ask you to do me a favor and accept people for who they are regardless of their sexual orientation? Who knows you might have the same taste in music after all.