The experience of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or a questioning woman in Ireland has changed radically over the past number of years. From a place of secrecy and shame, LGBTQ women are proudly taking their place in Irish society and communities. But their stories are many and varied. There are many inspiring, touching and uplifting stories out there about the experience of being LGBTQ in Ireland. Many of these stories are about ‘coming out’. The stories accurately describe human resilience and reflect the painful and joyful process of coming out to oneself, one’s family and one’s community.
Sharing stories is a powerful tool we all use to create a sense of community and to provide support to each other. Hearing the stories of LGBTQ women in Ireland will help other women as they face their own coming out journey, while also demonstrating both the variety and the commonality of human nature.
Running Amach in Ireland is a collection of 35 true stories gathered from the membership of Running Amach, a social networking group for LGBTQ women in Ireland. They range from the humorous to the tragic, covering love, denial, heartbreak, joy, fear, happiness, religion, rejection and acceptance. Touching on many different aspects of what it means to be LGBTQ in Ireland today, and coming in the aftermath of the historic Marriage Equality Referendum, these stories will shine a light on a corner of Irish society that has for too long been ignored. Running Amach in Ireland will appeal to all those with an interest in LGBTQ issues, social history, women’s studies and the changing face of Irish society.
Maureen Looney is a counsellor and the founder of Running Amach, an online social networking group for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) women in Ireland. In 2011 she won Volunteer of the Year at the GALAs (Gay and Lesbian Awards), in recognition of the success of Running Amach and her contribution to the LGBTQ community in Ireland. She also volunteers with BelongTo.