Watch the launch of Out in the World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora

We are delighted to launch our new exhibition ‘Out in the World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora’.

The exhibition, staged in partnership with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, will be on display at EPIC until December. It will also travel to Embassies and Consuls worldwide, collecting stories and experiences from Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora.

Rory O’Neill, gay rights activist and drag performer, submits his story to the exhibition’s collection.

Joining exhibition curator Dr Maurice Casey to launch the exhibition, Rory O’Neill, gay rights activist and drag performer, was first to submit his story to our collection. Further contributors include:

  • Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora
  • Vanessa Monaghan, chair of the London Irish LGBT Network
  • Paul O’Dwyer, founding member of the Irish Lesbian & Gay Organisation in NYC
  • Richard Malone, award winning Irish designer and multidisciplinary artist.

The event MC is Christelle Gebhardt of Dublin Pride.

The exhibition highlights 12 stories under six themes – exclusion, community, love, defiance, solidarity and return – which were chosen as they speak to significant parts of the Irish LGBTQ+ experience. By using a thematic approach, there are opportunities for intergenerational conversations and reflections upon contemporary LGBTQ+ history. 

The exhibition is diverse, with stories from the 1800s to the present, detailing experiences from England to India and Chile. Some of the stories included are of of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) which was founded in a Japanese restaurant in New York city in 1990, the Brixton Faeries, a gay theatre troupe based in the UK in the 1970’s, and an Irish participant in the Stonewall riots. This exhibition is a remarkable opportunity to learn about a past which hasn’t been publicly acknowledged or recognised in mainstream Irish exhibitions or history. 

Dr Patrick Greene, CEO and Museum Director, says

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum shares a view of Ireland from the perspectives of our emigrants, to understand the social and cultural context of why they left. We research, collect and share the stories of Ireland’s diaspora through exhibitions, education and engagement in person and online. Out In The World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora is a unique vantage point you won’t get anywhere else. This exhibition is a chance to understand Ireland and its influence around the world through our LGBTQ+ emigrants, what they brought with them and their influence on the world.”

The project is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, reflecting the commitment in Ireland’s national Diaspora Strategy to support Ireland’s LGBTQI diaspora through initiatives designed to promote inclusiveness, tolerance and respect for diversity.

Out in the World was developed with the consultation of Queer Culture Ireland, a LGBTQIA+ culture, heritage and art group of which EPIC is a founding member.  The exhibition was researched and developed with the consultation of various international Irish diaspora LGBTQ+ groups and LGBTQ+ members of the diaspora. 

Our exhibition will be open in The chq Building from June 8, with free admission during June, as part of the Dublin Pride celebrations. You and your guests will be most welcome to visit. Our award winning museum is open 7 days a week.