Queer Republic of Cork, Cork’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities 1970s-1990s was published in December 2016 by Onstream Publishers, with the support of the Cork City Council’s Heritage Publication Grant. The book, written by Orla Egan, is available to buy online.
Queer Republic of Cork charts the development of the Cork LGBT Community from the 1970s to 1990s. Cork has a long history of LGBT activism and community formation, but this has been a hidden and unacknowledged history. Queer Republic of Cork aims to redress this invisibility and to begin to tell the story of the development of this vibrant and active community.
In 2015 the Irish people voted in favour of Marriage Equality for same-sex couples and the Irish Government enacted the Gender Recognition Act, two important steps towards equality for LGBT people in Ireland. Queer Republic of Cork also aims to expand our understanding of how these changes came about; the developments in 2015 built on decades of activism by LGBT people all over Ireland, decades of fighting prejudice and discrimination and demanding respect and equality for LGBT people.
Queer Republic of Cork links to the work of the Cork LGBT Archive, which aims to preserve, digitise, share and display information in relation to the history of the LGBT communities in Cork, Ireland.
In August 2016 a Queer Republic of Cork Exhibition was held as part of Heritage Week. This exhibition features posters, photographs, leaflets and other items from the Cork LGBT Archive and took people on a journey through the development of the Cork LGBT community from the 1970s-1990s.
In 2016 the Cork LGBT Archive received funding from the Heritage Council to enable the proper storage of the collection and from the Cork City Council Heritage Publication Grant. These two grants were significant, not just financially, but also symbolically, as they indicated an acceptance and acknowledgment of Irish LGBT History as an important part of Irish Heritage.
The book was launched in the Quay Co-op on 15 December 2016. Speaking at the launch Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer with Cork City Council, commented: “I think that this book Queer Republic of Cork is an excellent example of a book that fulfils all of the Cork City Council Publication Heritage Grant Scheme. It is of great cultural heritage significance and covers an area of Irish society which has been hidden and unacknowledged for a long time. The time period it covers 1970 to 1990s were important time for LGBT activism and community formation and this book enables all of us in our society to access and engage with this previously hidden aspect of cultural heritage.”