BILO Honored for Shattering Brooklyn’s Green Ceiling
BROOKLYN, NY: This March, a contingent of about 40 LGBTQI+ and allies proudly marched in Brooklyn’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, marking a historic occasion: the first inclusion of such a group in the 40+ year old parade.
The Brooklyn Irish LGBTQ Organization, or BILO, was not asked to join by the parade’s organizers. Instead, over several years, it has pleaded, used political pressure, and even protests of the parade itself to gain the inclusion and acceptance of Brooklyn’s LGBTQ Irish-Americans.
BILO, co-founded by longtime LID members Lisa Fane and Matthew McMorrow, brings together a broad swath of LGBTQ Brooklynites of Irish heritage. During the #LIDAWARDS, Fane tearfully recounted the feeling of exclusion, the hard work put in to negotiating BILO’s place with the parade’s organizers, and the joy that came with eventual acceptance.
Both Fane and McMorrow noted and thanked Assembly Member Bobby Carroll for his instrumental role in pressuring the parade’s organizers to let BILO march. Carroll, a grandson of the parade’s founder, touched on the critical importance of accepting the LGBTQ community in community events such as the parade.
BILO was honored with the Brooklyn Lambda Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in the LGBTQ community. LID President Jared Arader (who also serves as BILO’s Board Secretary), introduced BILO by noting the significance of equality, and the fight to achieve it, beginning on the local level.