April 1993
Issue 50

At 7.30pm on March 17, Michael Dillon of the National Lesbian and Gay Federation collected a plaque from the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The plaque was given to NLGF as special recognition for effort during the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Eight groups out of the 98 that took part were awarded this recognition and were selected by Dublin Tourism. This rounded off what was probably the biggest visible and successful event in the history of the lesbian and gay movement in Dublin.

"Junior, grab that piece of wood and hold it there," and so begins my trip into the butch world of carpentry. Yes, building the St Patrick's Day float was just one part of the complete experience. If I'd known that I was expected to do the butch jobs also, I'd never have got involved in the float. I mean, I had to cut my nails! (the ultimate sacrifice)

It had all begun almost as a joke a couple of weeks previously, when the Youth Group suggested putting a float on the parade. On mentioning it in the office, I found out that the NIGF had a similar idea, so we joined forces. Notices were put up, an ad-hoc committee formed and we were off. We had no problems getting accepted by the Parade Organisers (unlike our New York counterparts), the only problem was money or lack of it. That's where you - the community, came in. After our appeal in last month's GCN you all dug deeply – whether you sent in a cheque or PO or gave to the pub collections, every penny was given by you – a fact you all should be proud of.

Once the money was collected (you might have seen me selling kisses in the pub), the float could be built and work commenced immediately. GCM kindly donated the use of their staff (nice to see that they're good for something other than sitting around drinking coffee all day), and the Hirschfeld was used as our workroom. Next came the almost endless rounds of interviews on radio, TV and press (I still maintain that I didn't give the quote, in an American newspaper, that we don't all mince around in frocks), and as a consequence of those I had to come out to my mother ("You mean you go with fellas?", - "Yes mother, when I can get one, which isn't very often"). Despite the often stoney silence at home, the atmosphere in work remained happy as we busied ourselves preparing for the day.

Continued on Page 12

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"I mean, I had to cut my nails!"