COBH’S newly formed LGBT+ group is poised to make history later this month, when they hold the first ever Cobh Pride event.
Cobh LGBT+ is a social and support group for LGBT+ people living in the east Cork town, that was formed in February.
The group meet monthly in local cafes, and are working to increase visibility and solidarity for their community in the town.
Chris Cavanagh-Costa, a member of Cobh LGBT+, said what started as a handful of people at the first meeting has already grown into a supportive community, with up to 20 people at a time now coming along to monthly meet-ups.
“Our members are older and younger members, and are all across the LGBT+ spectrum.
“We meet in cafes around Cobh, whichever one is available at the time, for a social meetup, chats, and to talk about life really,” he said.
A major goal of Cobh LGBT+ is to bring the first ever Pride event to the town, and now they’re doing just that.
Chris is chair of the Cobh Pride organising committee, and said there’s major excitement for their event later this month.
The “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” themed Pride event will have fun for all the family from 1.30pm to 5.30pm in Cobh’s community centre, on Sunday, August 21.
After Cobh Pride gets off the ground this month, Chris says the hope is to plan a Pride Parade through the town for next year.
“We saw the St Patrick’s Day parade here in Cobh this year, and that was a great success, so as soon as we finish our first inaugural event... we’re already starting to talk about events we can do over winter, and a bigger and better event next summer,” he said.
“Maybe we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but we’re hoping we’ll be able to do some kind of parade next summer, and that’s something that needs to be planned for well enough in advance!” he added.
He said it is “fantastic” to be a part of history holding Cobh’s first ever Pride event, and said it shows how much attitudes have changed in the town over the years.
“Most of our members would be from Cobh themselves … We have had lots of conversation in the group about things people have had to [do], unfortunately some people have had to leave Cobh in the past because of not being accepted,” he said.
“Now just walking down the street somebody would stop me and recognise me, and say ‘good luck with the Pride event, we’re going to be there’.
“We have people coming up to us and asking us about how it’s going, and we’ve had so much engagement online as well,” he added.
Chris said he hopes this year’s inaugural event will be the first in a long tradition of Cobh Pride.