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Gay Travellers Win Award
 
# 1 : Friday 3-12-2010 @ 08:36
 
Ozren
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From today's Irish Times

Delighted to see LGBT PAvee won an award

President hails inspirational success stories at Traveller Pride Awards


TRAVELLERS HAVE faced “more than a few Everests of negativity” so their stories of success are exactly what we need to hear at this difficult time, President Mary McAleese said as she presented the Traveller Pride Awards in Dublin yesterday.

“They know the territory of obstacle courses very, very well. They faced into them with courage that never failed them,” she said.

Mrs McAleese said minorities within the Traveller community, such as people who were gay, had to cope with being doubly excluded.

“For many kids who grew up . . . as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, we know that very often the first words of exclusion that they will hear . . . will likely be in their own home,” she said.

“You can imagine the loneliness and the misery of that existence and the pressure it puts on.”

She said the impact on that group, in terms of mental ill-health and propensity to suicide was “way, way in excess of other groups in the community”.

One of the 10 Traveller Pride awards was won by the Gay Traveller Support Group, which took part in the Gay Pride marches in Dublin and Galway this year.

Accepting the award, Rosaleen McDonagh said gay Travellers were afraid for all sorts of reasons to make their orientation public. But she said Traveller culture was fluid and new generations were changing things.

“There are a hundred ways to be a Traveller and being gay is just one of them.”


ONE MAN'S STORY: TRAVELLERS CAN'T BE GAY - THAT ONLY HAPPENS TO SETTLED PEOPLE

I AM A gay Traveller man but for many years I suppressed my feelings.

Even now, I feel I cannot reveal my identity here because it might result in some people not being tolerant or accepting of my Traveller and gay status.

I was born in England, but I was always an Irish Traveller and all my experiences were based on a traditional Traveller way of life.

But there was always an inner desire to be somebody else. It was obvious that I did not fit into the role I was born into.

I rang the Samaritans to find out what was wrong with me. When it arose that I might be gay I was shocked, mortified and disgusted with myself. Travellers can’t be gay – that only happens to settled people, I thought.

I started to identify with gay people I saw on the telly and on the street. Everything added up but I was still asking myself, how can this be happening to me, a lorry-driving Traveller man, the bread-winner working in construction?

I often heard derogatory terms used by my family towards “queers” describing them as perverts, child molesters and weirdos. I thought that I could not bring this shame on to my family. I would rather have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It would be much more acceptable to be dying than to be gay, let alone a gay Traveller.

In the mid 1980s my family spent some time in a camp in London opposite a gay pub. It took all my courage to go through that door one day but when I did, I met lovely people whom I admired and looked up to.

They were so confident about themselves. I realised that all the feelings I had about being a disgusting child molester were not true.

I started to sneak into the pub regularly but one day the men from the camp saw me going in and I was beaten up. That was the day I decided to leave my family and be true to my feelings.

Afterwards, I realised I had given up everything to be gay, to be alone in a bare flat without personal possessions; stripped of all my dignity and feeling the humiliation of my family.

Eventually I got my life back together when I got a job as a bus driver for children with disabilities. It struck me how similar the life of a disabled person is to the life of a Traveller. We both have to fight against prejudice and isolation.






Edited By Cheezypuf, 04 December 2010, 19:47

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# 2 : Friday 3-12-2010 @ 11:16
 
marlbo
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A well deserved award.
I know two local travellers who are gay but have no intentions of coming out
to their families. To be honest , they are scared of being isolated from their community. No one should have to live like this.
The Gay Traveller Support forum is a great resource .
http://gaypavee.forumotion.net/forum.htm

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# 3 : Friday 3-12-2010 @ 11:58
 
Intrepid
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It's great that a group within the LGBTQ community gets due recognition.

Congrats to everyone involved.

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# 4 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 00:34
 
Ozren
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Maman Poulet is reporting this evening that the award was not collected by LGBT Pavee themselves: "When it came time for the Gay group to come and collect their prize nobody in the room felt that they could come forward because they didn’t feel comfortable."

Sad.

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# 5 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 00:55
 
marlbo
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I think that is only personal assumption and maybe a bit irresponsible writing to say the least.
Maybe Rosaleen Mc Donagh had been choosen to accept the award on their behalf .
http://www.mamanpoulet.com/



Edited By Marlbo, 04 December 2010, 01:01

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# 6 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 11:20
 
Mango
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marlbo said :
I think that is only personal assumption and maybe a bit irresponsible writing to say the least.
Maybe Rosaleen Mc Donagh had been choosen to accept the award on their behalf .
http://www.mamanpoulet.com/

I'm sure that wasn't written just on an assumption - she knows Rosaleen McDonagh very well


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# 7 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 11:40
 
BorstalBoy
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excellent story lads,in an age where Pride has become all too easy for some of us to appreciate how tough it is in some communities and cultures this is a great achievement

i know some straight travellers in my boxing club and although they are totally supportive of me they have made it clear on several occasions how totally taboo it is in their community,so i really admire LGBT travellers

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# 8 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:04
 
Gadjo
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BorstalBoy said :
i know some straight travellers in my boxing club and although they are totally supportive of me they have made it clear on several occasions how totally taboo it is in their community,so i really admire LGBT travellers


Family ties are very important in the traveller community too. That can override any potential homophobia. I know one gay traveller. He's out to his family and they're totally supportive. Indeed, I think they're rather protective of him.

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# 9 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:08
 
dollimixture
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Ozren said :
Maman Poulet is reporting this evening that the award was not collected by LGBT Pavee themselves: "When it came time for the Gay group to come and collect their prize nobody in the room felt that they could come forward because they didn’t feel comfortable."

Sad.


Have we any facts to back this up or are we operating in the realm of complete conjecture?

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# 10 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:08
 
BorstalBoy
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Gadjo said :


Family ties are very important in the traveller community too. That can override any potential homophobia. I know one gay traveller. He's out to his family and they're totally supportive. Indeed, I think they're rather protective of him.


that good ,of course im sure its the same ,people are people whatever their circumstance and background.and id like to believe all of ireland is slowly drifting towards tolerance

the travellers in my club at least were homophobic about the prospect of people in their family being gay whilst not having a problem with me.do i judge them for that ,yeah i do because i think its sad when you see someone whos a great bloke and then they spoil it all with hate like that.am i in their company for friendship? no im not,im there to train but id like to think the more gay people everyone is exposed to the easier it`ll be for everyone

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# 11 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:19
 
Wheelie Bin
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Anyway, well done to Pavee LGBT.

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# 12 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:35
 
BorstalBoy
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certainly , and its good to see some recognition from president Mcallesse

for a short time a a few years back we had so many positive representations of the travelling community in the media,with Francee Barrett winning medals and touring schools and with films like Pavee Lackeen getting shown in film festivals,then the media decided that isolated incidences of rioting and family feuding sold more papers ( as if us settled people never commited a crime in our lives)

So fair play to the guys from the Traveller LGBT ,would love to see some kind of collaboration maybe with Belongto and traveller teens aswell

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# 13 : Saturday 4-12-2010 @ 12:40
 
Jupiterkid
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Offending posts duly edited and deleted. Please stay on topic people. Any posts that contain anti traveller sentiment on this thread will be removed - there are many other threads on travellers in which to discuss wider traveller related issues.

Well done to the Pavee LGBT group. They are finally achieving visibility and it's very hard to be a minority in a minority - LGBT Travellers must face double discrimination.

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# 14 : Sunday 5-12-2010 @ 12:04
 
amIyou
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Fantastic news. Gay travelers are twice discriminated, so they should be twice supported.

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# 15 : Sunday 5-12-2010 @ 12:16
 
Kaede
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Keeping with the niceness, well done to these guys. Well deserved, I think

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