A Brief History of the LGBTTQIA2S Movement in Ireland
9th Annual Ann Saddlemyer Lecture
PUBLIC LECTURE BY LAURA FINLAY, SECOND SECRETARY, EMBASSY OF IRELAND
The lecture will start at the beginning of the global LGBTQI rights movement, in New York City, and from there will trace the developments that led up to Ireland’s current reputation as one of the most LGBTQI friendly countries in the world, by exploring decriminalisation, marriage equality, and gender recognition. It will also briefly look at the LGBTTQIA2S movement in Canada, as well as discussing the issues the Irish LGBTQI movement is still fighting for.
Note: The speaker will use the internationally-accepted acronym of LGBTQI but when discussing the movement in Canada, will use the Canadian acronym, LGBTTQIA2S, which is inclusive of Two Spirit people from Indigenous Communities.
The Second Secretary at the Embassy of Ireland, Laura Finlay, holds an MSc in Equality Studies from the School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice in University College Dublin, where her research focused on the Irish transgender rights movement. Over the past decade, Laura has contributed to the expansion of the LGBTQ activism landscape in Ireland at a policy and practice level within a range of contexts including the University and NGO sector. She gives regular talks and workshops around Ireland about LGBTQ history, queer identities, coming out, and trans inclusiveness. Laura’s first desk in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was working on the Departmental approach to gender equality, and equality and diversity issues, and before that she worked primarily in the voluntary sector. She has sat on the Union of Students in Ireland LGBT Working Group, was the President of the University College Dublin LGBT Society, two time University College Dublin Student’s Union LGBT Rights Officer, the national LGBT Rights Officer for the Union of Students in Ireland, and is a former board member of Dublin LGBTQ Pride, where she served as the parade director. Laura was the volunteer co-ordinator for the 4th European Transgender Rights Conference, and sat on the board of directors of the Transgender Equality Network in Ireland for 5 years, only resigning when she joined the Irish Civil Service.