Mayo Pride was launched in 2017, marking a twenty-year journey from the establishment of the support group Outwest in 1997 to a parade in Castlebar adorned with rainbow decorations. Our aim was to foster unity in the community while embracing individuality, promoting diversity without emphasizing differences, and celebrating the uniqueness of everyone. Mayo Pride will continue working hard to achieve these goals and provide an engaging festival for the LGBTQ+ and wider community.
Our events during the year and at Pride itself were an opportunity for people to get together and enjoy themselves, something that we believe is important. In rural Ireland communities are small and isolated, often leading to LGBT+ people feeling lonely, unable to live as themselves, finding it difficult to make connections. Although the Ireland we live in today is changing and our society as a whole is learning to value diversity, there are still times when being true to yourself seems impossible, and it can look like you are alone in the way you express yourself. It is at these times that having a strong, supportive community can really make a difference. We want to be visible, to show people that they aren’t alone, that they are entitled to be themselves and that the way to fit in is sometimes to stand out. Pride is a celebration of life, love and living.
We are planning to bring events across Mayo, reaching out to as many communities as we can, expanding as we grow. Mayo is a big, beautiful county and Pride should be part of every community here. We really want to thank you all for the support you showed us at our first Pride and hope you continue to support us. Pride is for you and about you and we hope we can always bring you something to be really proud of