By Lisa-Marie Griffith
Saturday 27 June the twenty-sixth Gay Pride Parade will be held in Dublin. The parade, is part of 10 days of Gay Pride events that take place between the 19 and 28 of June and that act as a reminder that gay people in Ireland still do not have equal rights to the straight people. The gay community in Ireland is a topic that has suffered from a complete lack of interest by historians and so Brian Lacey’s Terrible Queer Creatures is a welcome addition to Irish historiography. Lacey raises this very important point in his introduction and shows how history, particularly social history, can be used to include! Lacey says ‘[W]hen growing up as an isolated young gay person in the Ireland of the 1960s, I would have loved to have had such a book to read’ [p.6] The gap in research and writing in this area is linked by Lacey to the general negative views of twentieth century Ireland to sexuality in general. While Lacey admittedly draws from secondary sources to cover such a vast period in Irish history he sheds important light on the history of same sex relationships, platonic and sexual, in Ireland. This book should become a staple for those looking at the social history of Ireland and will hopeful be the foundation of more research in this area. Applied to social history as a whole, Lacey shows how history as a discipline can reflect all of those who actually made our past.
I would also like to say well done to Wordwell Press for such a reasonably priced hardback history book which also has an eye catching jacket! You can own a copy of Brian Lacey’s book for just €25! They have launched some fantastic, reasonably priced books within the last few months (including Darkest Dublin and Shipwreck inventory of Ireland).