IT has be spoken about lately that LGBTQ people only started to be open about support for Irish republicanism from the start of the hunger strikes.
However, it goes back further before that period.
Peter Tatchell once told me he received a letter in the early 1970s from an Irish political prisoner in Long kesh asking to be sent in gay liberation education books as the prisoners where discussing about liberation struggles from LGBTQ to female liberation and other national liberation struggles.
It should also be pointed out that the Gay Liberation Front helped and actively organised the march against interment in London in the early 1970s and were active in Irish solidarity campaigns for many years.
While I know that republicanism had some issues with older conservatism that has changed in many ways and the progress and support of social movements by Irish republicanism goes back to 1798 for equality and liberty for all citizens.
As a child growing up in the 1990s, the first LGBTQ banner I ever saw was not on a Pride march but on the Falls Road. Many LGBTQ people are extremely proud of the solidarity republicanism has offered to us as well as educating us on issues of liberation and equality.
Seán Óg Garland,
Beál Feírsté 10
Do you have something to say on this issue? If so, submit a letter for publication to Conor McParland at email@example.com or write to Editor Anthony Neeson at Andersonstown News/North Belfast News, Teach Basil, 2 Hannahstown Hill, Belfast BT17 0LT