Who or What is AcomsDave?
Who or What is AcomsDave? Well, it is both me a community journalist, who enjoys travel, meeting people and writing about their stories, and reporting on current situations. But it is also the journal for me to report on the LGBTQI+ community issues in Northern Ireland (NI) and worldwide.
The issues, the problems, the good news – why we as a community (and I am part of that community) still must be vigilant against oppression and continue to fight to keep the rights that have been hard fought for, and to interact with interested (and non-interested) parties about why we are who we are, and why our history is important.
I have developed areas of particular interest:
- Big Brother
- LGBTQI+ and the
And within all these areas the people
But what is just as important when I look into these areas, is the ‘history of the LGBTQI+’ community, how it has been shaped, and how it has also shaped the United Kingdom’s history, and indeed the world.
I have been an active member of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) since 1984. Working as a committee member, secretary, Vice-President and then President. NIGRA was formed in 1975, and initially concentrated on campaigning for gay male sex to be decriminalised, as had been done in England and Wales by the Sexual Offences Act 1967. This provoked Rev Ian Paisley MP, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Free Presbyterian Church, to form a group called “Save Ulster from Sodomy” to campaign for the law to be retained. In the end the European Court of Human Rights forced the UK government to pass the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982, which decriminalised sex between men over 18.
I also was joint editor with Sean McGouran of various printed journals/publications:
- Gay Star
Which at the time was the only gay publication written for Northern Ireland and published in Northern Ireland. Copies of these publications are held in:
- The Linenhall Library
- Central Library, Belfast
- Public Records for Northern Ireland (PRONI)
- British Library
- Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA)
Our journals and publications were read in Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK, but we also had subscribers in France, Germany, the Netherlands Belgium, the USA, and Australia.
During my travels, I have maintained an active role in LGBTQI+ issues, and in 1991 having moved for a period to Surrey, I was asked to join the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). CHE was formed in Manchester in 1964 with a stated aim from 1969 to promote legal and social equality for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in England and Wales. On joining I was soon co-opted onto the committee and then was asked to become chairperson during the transition period for them as they moved office and reviewed their objectives.
I have since returned to Northern Ireland, with a continued interest in reporting our news and researching into areas which all too often are overlooked, and for some, don’t want them looked at.
I also maintain my interest in drawing and painting, photography, and last but not least supporting my friends as we all get older.
We expose to light those who hide in the