Members of Irish Queers and their allies speak to the press on March 17. | DONNA ACETO
“We’re here, we’re queer, we’ll be here every year.” When the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization first chanted that in 1991, no one imagined we’d actually have to do that if we wanted to march openly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. More than two decades later, there are signs of hope. The new Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, boycotted the parade this year. And big corporate sponsors pulled out. Money, not morality, may be what finally transforms one of New York’s largest parades into an inclusive event.
At the same time, the battle’s not over and the mayor’s still under fire for allowing cops to march in their uniforms, seemingly giving the city’s seal of approval to the parade’s bigotry.
The following podcast highlights voices denouncing the consequences of excluding LGBT people and includes the Irish Queers who have been the most persistent organizers in this fight, along with Anne Maguire and Brendan Fay who helped begin the long struggle.
Uniformed members of the NYPD march in the discriminatory parade. | DONNA ACETO