We asked Victoria, a member of our Dublin 15 Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) to reflect on marching in Pride alongside Jigsaw this year.
I have been attending the Pride Parade for the past few years. This year has been different for me because I had the opportunity to march in the parade, alongside Jigsaw. This was a great experience for me because it made me feel as if I am more involved in the community. I enjoyed decorating myself alongside everyone else who is marching, and I felt a solid sense of belonging. Being surrounded by people who are so enthusiastic about the event made it a very memorable day.
Why I support Pride
Attending Pride through the years has always been a good experience for me. It feels like the one day where everybody feels free to be themselves. The streets of Dublin are garnished with vibrant rainbow colors. Everyone is decorated and joyful. Most wonderfully, everyone is marching and supporting those of numerous sexualities. To me, it is most importantly a march that bolsters individuality.
The fact that an act had to be passed to allow people to be themselves has always been strange to me. In a perfect world, the matter would not need a political vote. In a perfect world, I believe that everyone should be who they are, with no questions asked. I believe that love is love. And I believe that love is fluid and cannot be contained in a box, which dictates who someone can and cannot love.
The parade is important to me because it is an amazing shift in the right direction. The fact of marching feels like a rebellion against old points of view. Countless great organisations and groups are marching through the streets to create a change. To show the world what they stand for. Being involved in the community, as well as simply having fun and being surrounded by like-minded people.
How is mental health and the Pride parade linked?
Being involved in the community is what I have wanted to do for a long time. Therefore, I am grateful for being a member of the organisation that is Jigsaw and being a member of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP).
Having good mental health involves many things. Some of the factors include;
- Being able to cope with the various demands of life
- Feeling comfortable and happy in your own skin
- Knowing how to get on with different people
- Having a good attitude to life’s ups and downs
- Having the ability to contribute to your community.
Jigsaw is an organisation set up to help young people in need of mental health. Believing that if resilience is built up at a young age, it will stick by the individual for a lifetime.
The parade is a great day out in celebration of mental health because it is a fun and colorful event. Everybody is there to embrace each other.
Those who may be part of the LGBTQ+ community, who might not feel understood every day are surrounded by people of the same nature. Not only that, they are surrounded by those who accept them for who they are. This is one day of the year that demonstrates the sheer amount of support that these people have.
When you can be yourself, your mental health is better as a whole. And when you are supported by so many different people, you feel accepted, which leads to happiness.
Attending the parade, you can feel proud of who you are and that can make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
Even if you are not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it feels good to support those who may need it. And it feels good overall to stand up and march for what you believe in.