Disney Quiz and Karaoke Night!

Out in UL and UL Drama Society held our third annual Disney Quiz and Karaoke Night in Scholars on Thursday and I think everyone who attended would agree that it was a wonderful night.  This was our third time hosting this event and it seems to grow bigger every year!  Scholars was packed to capacity and our president even had to stand out in the Courtyard repeating the questions to the people sitting out there, because there wasn’t a seat left inside, but even those outside seemed to have a great time!

It was amazing to see so much enthusiasm from everyone. People wore their Disney t shirts, and some even went as far as to wear their Minnie mouse costumes!  People went all out and it made the night one to remember!

We started the night off with the quiz, and if you weren’t a Disney Pro this definitely must’ve been a struggle (I know I, for one, struggled immensely!).  The questions could only have been conjured up by a true Disney mastermind!  The questions ranged from “What was the 33rd Disney feature film released in the Renaissance Era?” (It was Mulan), to “What year was Alice in Wonderland released?” (1951).  There were several rounds including ‘Mickey and Friends’, ‘Disney Princesses’, ‘Pixar’ and ‘Star Wars’.  There was something to test everyone’s strengths and weaknesses (mostly weaknesses on my part!), and there were even spot prizes for best team name (shout out to Team Dumbledory and the School of Fishcraft and Swimmery).  The Walt Quizneys (well one of the 3 teams with that very original name…) took the victory, and went away with first prize, so a huge congratulations to them, and to everyone who took part and made the night so magical.

The second half of the night was dedicated to Karaoke, and people took to the stage to sing songs from all of the Disney classics, from Hercules to Highschool Musical, to Moana! People sang their hearts out and the whole crowd joined in with them, and it was such an incredible atmosphere!

It was an incredible night, with incredible people and we hope this annual event will keep going long into the future because it’s a night that everyone seems to enjoy!  A huge thanks is owed to everyone who made this night possible, especially Drama Soc, Scholars and all of our wonderful sponsors (Red Bull, Odeon Cinema, Anne  Gray’s Pharmacy, Melt, Hogan’s Butchers).  We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did and come again next year!

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Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

(As reported by The Ogham Stone team member and communications facilitator, Ciara Gordon)

On Thursday September 21st, Out in UL  held a poetry evening, ‘Louder Than Words’ in The Scholars Club on campus. Poetry evenings have become a staple in Limerick city recently, due to the rise in popularity of a monthly event for emerging writers called Stanzas. Stanzas aims to give a platform to those who are just starting to create prose and poetry, and gives them an opportunity to allow their writing to engage with the wider community. Out in UL saw the impact of this event and decided to try and engage the student population of UL even more with the joys of poetry.

‘Louder Than Words’ began with poetry readings by some members of the society, which included many original poems, that had a strong focus on the themes of identity and sexuality. After a short break, those in attendance were encouraged to take part in the open mic section of the night, where they could read any poetry that meant something to them. Several people decided to give it a go, many of whom had never read in public before, but all shared a love of words, be it their own or those of a poet they resonated with.

Events Officer of the society, Luke Slattery, gave his views on why poetry events such as Louder Than Words resonate with people; “Poetry is gaining popularity in Limerick and UL because of how accessible it is. You don’t need a specific skill set or tools to express yourself through it, whether it be for yourself or to an audience. Sure, there are different levels of abilities, but all are equally appreciated and have the same ears listening at events and readings.”

‘Louder Than Words’ was an intimate and thoroughly enjoyable event, which was a wonderful experience for those on either side of the microphone, and will hopefully become a regular event in UL!

UL’s Best Society is Back!

We’re about to head into a new semester and with that comes new adventures and opportunities for UL’s best society!  I want to say a huge welcome and good luck to all the new students starting in UL, and welcome back to all of our older members, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful, relaxing summer and are fresh and excited for the semester ahead, I know I am!

The last year has been incredible for our society and we were awarded the title of Best Society in UL, a title we plan to live up to in the coming year.  We have so much planned for this semester, from our weekly members meetings which take place every Monday starting in Week 2, our weekly Queer hangouts in the Students Union where our members can come and relax and get to know each other and take a break from the hustle and bustle of college life, and of course Rainbow Week.  Rainbow Week is one of the busiest, but most exciting weeks of the semester for Out in UL, with educational workshops, displays in the courtyard, our big night in with food, fun and games, and of course, our Big Night Out!  Now if you’re new here I bet you’re thinking that that does not sound like something you’d want to miss, but how do you join? Well its easy:

  1. Pre-Register on ULSU.ie
  2. Come say hi to us at the recruitment drive in the UL Sports Arena on Wednesday the 7th of September (there will be lots of rainbows, you won’t miss us!) and pay the €3 membership fee.
  3. If you can’t make it to the recruitment drive do the following steps and pay at our first meeting of the semester in Week 2.
  4. YAY! You’re officially a Queer Wolf!

We look forward to meeting and welcoming all of our new LGBTQI+ students and our allies into the Out in UL family, so don’t be shy, come along and bring a friend, and you’ll make new ones here too! If you’re interested in joining our committee and learning new skills too, there will be an EGM in Week 2 where you can run for a committee position.  There are 4 positions available: Ordinary Committee Member, First Year Representative, Treasurer and Secretary positions.  Don’t worry if you haven’t been a part of a committee before, we have excellent, experienced committee members to help guide you as you learn, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know people, and can count as volunteering towards you President’s Award too!

Make sure you follow us @outinul on all of our social medias; Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, for updates on our upcoming events and the time and location of our weekly meetings.  If you have any questions, feel free to message us on any of our social medias, we are always more than happy to help in any way we can!  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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Orla x

Queerbash 14 is near!

QueerBash 14 poster

Out in UL’s largest showcase event, Queerbash, will take place on Friday, April 7th in Dolans Warehouse. Queerbash, now in its fourteenth year, is Limerick’s longest running LGBTQ+ night out, and also one of the longest running events in the University of Limerick’s history.

Every year, Queerbash takes on a new theme, with people encouraged to dress up and all the décor of the night based around that theme. This year, the theme of Queerbash 14 is ‘Fairytales and Fiction: Let your Imagination Run Wild’. People will come emulating their favourite fictional characters and creatures on the night.

Queerbash was set up by the late Paddy McHugh as a way of bringing the LGBTQ+ community and wider community together, to reclaim the term “Queerbash” in a positive way, and also as a response to the violence against the queer community in Limerick at the time. The event is carried on with these aims in mind, and also to give local talent and University talent a chance to showcase what they can do.

The show will be hosted by a former Alternative Miss UL performer, Notorious K.I.D, and will also feature performances by UL Drama Soc, BA in Voice and Dance students, and Ruth Walsh and Billy Verlinden. This year, local band A Weekend Away, winners of University Battle of the Bands 2017, will be featured in the show. There will also be a live DJ, Eoghan Clark. With a wide variety of acts, from both communities, it is sure to be a great night with something for everyone.

Doors open for the event from 9.00pm, April 7th in Dolans Warehouse. Tickets price is €10 and can be bought at the door.

Out in UL’s first consent workshop

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Out in UL held its first ever consent workshop as part of the Not Just SomeBody campaign.

The workshop was led by Co-President Ciara Ciara Mag Mhuirneacháin and First Year Rep Orla McDermott. It focused on putting scenarios involving consent forward to those taking part. Everyone who took part came away with a better understanding of issues around consent and better equipped to speak to others about it.

The consent workshop was one of three held in one day as part of Out in UL’s Not Just SomeBody campaign, which also included  workshops on Domestic Abuse (with the Feminist Society) and on Gender Identity. Highway to Heels Catwalk that took place in the Courtyard as part of the campaign.

Out in UL recognises the importance of issues around consent hopes to see more consent workshops being held on UL campus in the future.

Highway to Heels Catwalk video

Check out the highlights from the Highway to Heels Catwalk that took place in the Courtyard on Tuesday as part of Out In UL’s Not Just SomeBody campaign which aimed to promote gender equality and show that what you wear doesn’t define who you are.

The campaign also included workshops on Consent, Domestic Abuse and Gender to educate and spread awareness about these important issues that contain one common theme: Our right to make decisions about our own bodies.

Heels vid screenshot

UL Best Society WINNERS 2017

C&S Group w Lydia

Out in UL had an amazing UL Clubs and Societies Awards 2017 haul, winning the Overall Best Society award for 2017. This is the second time the society have won this award. having last received it in 2015.

There was elation among the committee as our name was called as winners of the award, a true vindication of everything the society has done in the last year to better the lives of LGBTQ people on UL campus.

Queerbash 13 was shortlisted in the top three for best event while Co-President Ciara Ciara Mag Mhuirneacháin made it to the top three individuals.

Out in UL Co-President Seán Lynch received the Mike Sadlier Overall Lifetime Achievement award 2017, a recognition of the work he has put into helping make the society the success it is today. Seán has three years of experience on the society’s committee and has really made a huge contribution in wider C&S in UL.

Out in UL will go forward to represent UL at the national societies’ awards BICS in the Best Society category on April 13. Wish us luck!

Alternative Miss UL 2017

AMUL 2017

By Aoibhínn Slattery

amul poster

On Thursday of Week 5, February 23rd 2017, Out in UL hosted one of our biggest events of the second semester in the form of Alternative Miss UL. AMUL is the annual amateur drag competition held in the Scholars Club by Out in UL and we always welcome numerous performers –drag kings, queens and also faux queens and kings– to take to the stage and unleash their inner drag disasters.

Preparations for AMUL had our committee working hard over the last few weeks. At our weekly member’s meeting on the Monday (20th February), we had a meeting on the topic of Gender Identity and Expression, which included a discussion about drag and why it has such cultural significance within the LGBTQ+ Community. Right up until the night, the feelings of excitement were at their height in Out in UL HQ and beyond! Indeed, we attracted fantastic crowds to AMUL, Out in UL members and non-members alike. The turnout was outstanding with the Scholar’s Club packed to capacity. The crowd seemed very engaged and some were even live- tweeting the event! Though some people who were in Scholars beforehand may or may not have been aware that AMUL was taking place there, a few looked ever so slightly taken aback when the action began, but it did not take long for them to start cheering on our queens and enjoy themselves immensely!

This year, AMUL was hosted by  Mei Yuan, one of the queens who competed in last year’s AMUL and came in second place.One of our previous winners, drag queen Aurora Sapphyre performed a beautiful ballad act at this year’s AMUL, which was very well received by everyone in attendance. We welcomed three contestants, all of whom were first-time performers with no previous drag experience. We had Betty Swallows, Royal Pain  and TeCiara Mockingbird who was one of the joint hosts for AMUL 2016!, As a member of the audience, I myself was completely and utterly awestruck by how impressive all the contestants were, especially considering that this was the contestants’ drag debut. The winner was Betty Swallows, who pulled off a remarkable performance that left the crowd mesmerised. It was a particularly entertaining act for those sitting at the judges’ table, right in front of the stage! The winner was presented with a tiara, a sceptre and two tickets to Dragged Up’s Latrice and Aja, which takes place in late May in HANGAR, Dublin. Also, thanks to the Odeon Cinema Castletroy, there were two cinema passes that were raffled on the night.

 

 

Now that AMUL 2017 is done, Out in UL HQ is now preparing for our next big event, Queerbash! This is perhaps Out in UL’s largest event of the year. Each year Queerbash has a different theme and the theme is announced at AMUL, and the theme of Queerbash XIV will be ‘Fairytales and Fiction-Let your imagination run wild’. Queerbash will take place in Dolans on Friday 7th April; tickets will be sold at the door for €10 and will be hosted by none other than Notorious K.I.D, a much-loved previous winner of AMUL who also performed at this at our Big Night Out in Stroker’s Gay Bar during Rainbow Week last semester. We have many amazing acts lined up for the night, including the band and performances from UL Drama Society and some students from the B.A. Voice and Dance programme. It should be a fantastic event so come along, and here’s hoping it will be an even bigger success than AMUL.

AMUL 2017 Contestants

Out in UL Create Gender and Sexuality Wall for Rainbow Week!

By Kiera Thornton

As a part of Rainbow Week 2016, Out in UL held an interactive event in the Students’ Union Courtyard on Wednesday 9th November which allowed people on campus to contribute to the society’s Gender and Sexuality Wall. The wall was painted with a total of eighteen different colours, each representing one sexual orientation or gender identity. Passers-by who visited the courtyard between 12-3pm were invited to paint sections on the wall to represent their own orientation and gender, eventually filling each of the wall’s segments with a diverse range of colour.

The Gender and Sexuality Wall was created with the aim of bringing about awareness for lesser-represented sexual orientations and gender identities. This corresponds with one of Out in UL’s aims as a society and a key objective of Rainbow Week; showcasing the diversity of sexuality, gender expression and gender identity among UL’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community. This event allowed queer identities to be publicly showcased to the entire university population, in hope of bringing the LGBTQ+ community and the wider community on campus together.

With people’s perceptions of orientation and gender beginning to evolve beyond the binary ideals of the past, the Gender and Sexuality Wall event was crucial not just for showcasing diverse identities but for educating others. Indeed, many students approached Out in UL’s stand throughout the afternoon, with the intention of learning more about the topics of sexuality and gender identity. Students were also afforded with the opportunity to take a quiz on the various LGBTQ+ pride flags to enter a raffle, with one lucky person winning a free Christmas Days ticket. All of those who took part in the event kept an open mind on the subject of queer identity, and certainly Out in UL successfully educated many people with this event.

This event was one of many events held by Out in UL during Rainbow Week, an annual event hosted by the society which marked its sixth year and took place during Week 10 of the semester, November 7th-11th. Education is consistently a key aim of Rainbow Week, and other educational events held during the week included the workshop on feminism and the LGBTQ+ community, delivered in conjunction with UL Feminist Society on the Thursday of Rainbow Week. Out in UL also held Queer in the Courtyard – another interactive event which invited people to reflect on what the word “queer” meant to them – and teamed up with Limerick-based charity GOSHH to hold a workshop on the gender spectrum.

Among the other events which happened during Rainbow Week were the “Past, Present, Future” event in the Scholars Club – a nod to Out in UL’s history, allowing members to reflect on the past of the society, while looking to our hopefully bright and long future – and UL Drama Society’s “Stigma”, a production about mental health which featured stories from two of our committee members. Of course, Rainbow Week would not have been complete without the staple “Big Night Out” in Strokers on Thursday 10th November, a fantastic event with performances from Notorious K.I.D. and Alice Pow, as well as music from DJ Eoghan Clark. The ethos of Rainbow Week is “education, fun and educational fun”, and this year’s events most certainly lived up to this objective.

(Originally published in An Focal – ULSU Student Newspaper.)

Rainbow Week 2016!

By Robert Culhane

This year’s Rainbow Week falls on Week 10 of the semester, starting on Monday the 7th of November. The idea of Rainbow Week is to celebrate the LGBTQ community in its entirety through a fun and educational way. It is hosted during the autumn semester of every year and is one of Out in UL’s biggest events. The week involves a lot of work and dedication by all committee members as it takes a substantial amount of time and coordination to organise, but the finished product should be an amazing week on campus. The aim of Rainbow Week is also to provide visibility of the LGBTQ community in the wider society in an inclusive manner whereby anyone can partake in the events organised by Out in UL throughout the week. It is our week as a society to showcase what we do and what we stand for in a fun, interactional way while also educating people on LGBTQ topics.

Rainbow Week starts on Monday the 7th of November with ‘Queer in the Courtyard’ from 1 to 3pm. The centrepiece of this event is a canvas with the word ‘queer’ which will be placed in the students’ union courtyard. Anyone is welcome to write on the canvas whatever they feel the word queer means to them. Despite using the word ‘queer’, it is not just open to LGBTQ people and everyone is invited to take part. On Monday evening from 7 until 9pm we will be hosting our ‘Past, Present, Future’ event in scholars which is a mixer for past, present and future Out in UL members. We will be showcasing past events and achievements as well as looking at how we hope to advance as a society and move forward in the future.

Then, on Tuesday we have our ‘Gender Spectrum Workshop’ with GOSHH in SU Room 3 from 1 to 2pm. GOSHH are a charity based in Limerick city who provide information on sexual health and LGBTQ+ topics, and this workshop will focus on gender variance. In the evening we are holding our ‘Big Night In’ event in Plassey Hall from 7 o’clock onwards where we will enjoy a relaxing evening with games, takeaway and music. All members are welcome!

On Wednesday in the student union’s courtyard from 12 to 3pm we will be hosting our ‘Gender and Sexuality’ event where we will provide a board for people to paint different colours which will represent the different genders and sexualities of the LGBTQ community. In the evening, our good friends in UL’s Drama Society are holding Stigma, a performance in which monologues about mental health are read out. Some of our members have submitted pieces to Stigma to give a much-needed queer slant on the mental health issue.

Thursday will see us holding another collaboration event, this time with the Feminist society which will be a workshop on the LGBTQ’s place within the feminist movement. As queer people on all parts of the spectrum have for a long time played a major role in feminism, this should be an incredibly interesting workshop.

In the evening we will be holding our ‘Big Night Out’ event, which is one of the most anticipated events during Rainbow Week every year. This will take place in Strokers on Upper William Street – Limerick’s only LGBTQ-specific venue – and will feature performances from some of our fantastic members and friends. Doors open at 9pm and it should be a fantastic night for all! Finally, on Friday we will be hosting Recovery Tea with the Tea Appreciation Society from 1-3pm in SU Room 3 where we will all sit around and relax, drinking tea and playing games to recover from the busy week. As you can see, Rainbow Week has an amazing line-up this year and we hope it will a wonderful week which showcases the vibrancy of UL’s queer community.