Homosexuals are revolting : a history of gay and lesbian activism in the Republic of Ireland, 1973 -1993
Title: Homosexuals are revolting : a history of gay and lesbian activism in the Republic of Ireland, 1973 -1993
Author: MCDONAGH, Patrick
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2019
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This project explores the history of gay and lesbian activism in the Republic of Ireland from 1973 to 1993. Using primary archival material and oral interviews it challenges the current historical narrative which presupposes that gay and lesbian activism in Ireland was confined to a legal battle to decriminalise sexual activity between males and confined to the activities of one man, David Norris. The project broadens the campaign for gay rights in Ireland to include other individuals, organisations, concerns, aims, strategies, and activities outside Dublin. In particular, the thesis demonstrates the extent to which there were numerous gay and lesbian organisations throughout Ireland which utilised the media, the trade union movement, student movement and support from international gay/lesbian organisations to mount an effective campaign to improve both the legal and social climate for Ireland’s gay and lesbian citizens. While politicians in recent years have claimed credit for the dramatic changes in attitudes to homosexuality in Ireland, this project demonstrates the extent to which these dramatic changes were pioneered, not my politicians, but rather by gay and lesbian activists throughout Ireland, in both urban and provincial regions, since the 1970s. The project considered the emergence of a visible gay community in Ireland and its impact on changing perceptions of homosexuals; the important role played by lesbian women; the role of provincial gay/lesbian activists; the extent to which HIV/AIDS impacted the gay rights campaign in Ireland; and how efforts to interact with the Roman Catholic Church, political parties, and other important stakeholders shaped the strategies of gay/lesbian organisations. Homosexuals are revolting: A history of gay and lesbian activism in the Republic of Ireland, 1973-1993, reveals the extent to which gay and lesbian activists were important agents of social and political change in Ireland, particularly in terms of Irish sexual mores and gender norms. This project helps to contextualise the dramatic changes in relation to homosexuality that have taken place in recent years in Ireland and encourages scholars to further explore the contribution of Ireland’s queer citizens to the transformation of Ireland in the twentieth- and twentieth-first century.
LC Subject Heading: Gays -- Ireland -- History -- 20th century; Lesbians -- Ireland -- History -- 20th century; Social movements -- Ireland
Defence date: 14 January 2019; Examining Board: Professor Pieter M. Judson, EUI (Supervisor); Professor Laura L. Downs, EUI (Second Reader); Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, University College Dublin; Doctor Sean Brady, Birkbeck, University of London.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess
Preceding version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/59623
Version: Chapters 1 'Smashing the wall of silence: Irish Gay Rights Movement' and chapter 3 'Decentring the metropolis: gay and lesbian activism in Cork, forging their own path?' of the PhD thesis draws upon an earlier version published as an article '“Homosexuals are revolting” : gay & lesbian activism in the Republic of Ireland 1970s -1990s' (2017) in the journal 'Studi Irlandesi: a journal of Irish studies'