Dublin’s 25th Gay Pride festival opens tonight celebrating the changes for the community over the last two decades.
An 80s revival in The George on South Great Georges Street will launch the 10-day fest, which is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the city.
Highlights include the Dublin Pride Parade, to be held on June 21 to mark the Stonewall riots in New York, a pride ceili, family sports day and night party.
Some 10,000 revellers are due to attend the parade, which is second in size only to the capital’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
Amy O’Keeffe, Dublin Pride spokeswoman, said everyone could enjoy the festival.
“These ten days are not restricted to the gay community but are a celebration for the entire city,” she said.
“Pride is an opportunity to raise awareness on outstanding gay issues but it is also a time to be proud of our city’s positive attitude and ongoing progress.”
This year the theme – Always the Bridesmaid and Never the Bride – will highlight the lack of partnership rights for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community.
Festival Committee Chairman Frank Cleary said the gay communities have once again begun to move together to insist that rights of LGBTQ people are human rights which cannot be conferred on some citizens and denied to others.
Cllr Paddy Bourke said he was proud to be Lord Mayor of a city, which is celebrating its 25th Dublin Pride Parade.
“Every year our Pride festival infuses Dublin with colour and atmosphere unique to our gay community and I am thoroughly looking forward to June as I’m sure Pride 08 will be one to remember,” he added.