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'We are really f***ing happy about being homosexual': Thousands take to the streets for Dublin Pride

Dublin is awash with colour today – and emotion.

Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people took to the streets of Dublin this afternoon to celebrate the annual LGBTQ Pride Parade.

The city was awash with colour as the smiling crowds made their way through the city centre. The traditional rainbow flags flew high above them and the parade was dotted with people wearing the now familiar ‘Yes Equality’ t-shirts and badges that became iconic symbols of the same-sex marriage referendum campaign.

Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

And the referendum was on everyone’s minds today. For the LGBT community, today is not just a celebration of their pride, it is a celebration of all they have managed to achieve in the last year.

Gay Pride Parade. Pictured (LtoR) Dani Daniel Byrne from Dublin and Wanderson Nicacio From Brazil at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin. Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Deryck Fay has been coming to the parade since decriminalisation in 1993. “It’s the same kind of atmosphere but on a much bigger scale”, he told, adding that there was a real feeling of “relief and freedom”.

He attended the parade with his partner of 21 years Justin Bryan and the couple told us they are hoping to tie the knot as soon as possible, though it may be a more low key event than their friends are hoping for:

Video / YouTube

This was the first parade for Davina Staunton from Cork who described it perfectly with one word: “emotional”.

“It was brilliant. Everyone was signing and dancing, everyone on the outside was cheering as well.”

IMG_5310 Davina Staunton, far left, with friends at Pride Village this afternoon. Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

I’m actually transgender, so I’m hoping for the [gender] recognition bill, that’s supposed to happen at the end of July. Once that happens, it’s a part of my life so I’d be happy.

There were some familiar faces hanging around…

‘We are really f***ing happy about being homosexual’

As the crowds reached Merrion Square, they filtered into Pride Village where the celebration continued. Panti Bliss greeted the crowds from the big stage, receiving huge cheers that spread through the park.

I’m am marching to remind lonely, especially young, LGBT people that they are not alone that we are here, we are really f***ing happy about being homosexual and that we are ready for her to join us whenever she feels ready.

I’m parading to celebrate how much we’ve achieved and how far we have come.

Panti said the parade today, with all its fanfare, would also serve as a beacon of hope for the kinds of people who are “not as fortunate as us”, living in countries where she said this kind of event would be “unimaginable”.

sailors Hello sailors. One of them, without knowing who we were taking the photo for, asked us afterwards to "put that on The Journal". There you go lads. Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

Speaking to as he made his way through the city, David Norris said the decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 states was “very good timing” but made sure to point out that “we were before America”.

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

The sun hasn’t come out yet but there’s a wonderfully colourful atmosphere. It’s by far the biggest parade that I’ve seen. The number of people on the streets is quite beyond anything we’ve had before and the number of people on the demonstration – the overwhelming majority gay but a lot of straight people in support as well. I think that’s wonderful. It’s a very, very happy day.

Like Panti, he said it was important not to forget people who are living in countries where they cannot be themselves.

“There’a whole block – the majority of the globe is still bitterly homophobic.”

Read: ‘It was the most wonderful and euphoric experience’: How was your first Pride parade?>

Read: Beaten, robbed and left to die: One march that paved the way for the Dublin Pride parade>

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