We must admit we’ve been somewhat conflicted by Pride of late. The embracing of Queer culture by the mainstream has not been without its pitfalls, most noticeably the piggybacking of it by brands. The parade spectacle has been somewhat diminished by the proliferation of bland buses passing by telling us tech company A is down with equality and film company B wants to flog a forthcoming release. Having Madonna playing from a soundsystem while people in t-shirts dance on the roof of a bus is not the essence of a good Pride.
Solution? Brands fund the creation of float spectacles with edge and competition, brands fund community groups and outreach programmes to bring the message and the fun. In other words, brands get out of our faces. Here’s hoping the restoration of its route down the O’Connell Street artery marks the beginning of the return of a flamboyant Pride with a meaningful sense of pride, place and bite.
Announcing artist and activist Will St Leger as its Grand Marshall this year is a very welcome decision adding meaning over celeb rainbow dashing.
Parade route is Parnell Square to Merrion Square