Like ’em or loath ’em LGBT Diversity reaffirmed that nationwide the whole LGBT community need to communicate and work with each other, seeking funding, fund raising, assisting one another. Now who will put their money where their mouth us and turn that into a real business.
The year was 2008, In the South East one of the EAGLE (currently known as Gay Wexford) committee members. Worked & boarded in Kilkenny, socialised in Waterford, came from & lived in Wexford. This gave Barry a unique opportunity to work on the utopian idea of rural LGBT communities working together. Cross County CoOperation.
sOUTh Waterford came on board, this collaboration resulted in a joint inter county LGBT information week between EAGLE & sOUTh in Waterford. Indeed the same week when Ciara the first post operative transgendered person from the Southeast spoke for the first time outside the sensationalist news media. Vanessa Lacey made her debut and outed herself as transgender. Barry & Eamonn supported Vanessa and Jane, participants of a fledgling Waterford transgender group. Taking the name suggested by Eamonn: ‘TransSE’. TranSE was born.
Working and spending so much time in Kilkenny and having the inclination, Barry made the connections and sought assistance setting up a gay group. He encouraged the dynamo that is Enya to get involved and things flew from there. Pink Kilenny, Kilkenny pride/ radio slot/ LGBT events/ arrival of Dignity/ A drag queen was grand marshal of the Patricks Day Parade. In fact there were Wexford/ Kilkenny contingents participating in Waterford pride that year.
Representatives from the different groups actively encouraged people from other counties out to attended events in the other counties. Wexford and Kilkenny put a float in to the Waterford Pride. Wexford LGBT carpooled to attended the newly formed Kilkenny Pride. Participants in Pink Kilkenny came to Wexford social events.
Two years later Barry shared these ideals and ideas with the Southeast LGBT Diversity Development officer Bernie Smyth when invited to be part of her Regional Consultancy Group initiative (September 9th 2010 – May 2011). It has been suggested that the LGBT Youth Wexford/ Gay Wexford 2011 (funded by LGBT Youth Wexford grant) information week spun on a number of these shared ideas.
Barry would be the first to admit he didn’t work alone, he had a foundation working within the LGBT community as part of E.A.G.L.É. Wexford, working on the E.A.G.L.É. (Equality Alliance of Gays and Lesbians in Éire) committee. As chairperson of EAGLE Gay Wexford, he increased his networking, encouraging others to do the same and found more allies in Waterford and Kilkenny.
One person can make a difference • get involved with in your own LGBT community.