This morning (Pride Day 25th June) Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone announced that her Department will be leading on the development of a dedicated LGBT Youth Strategy this autumn.
Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To, told EILE Magazine that she was really happy to hear the news commenting:
“This is wonderful news for LGBT+ young people, we are delighted, and looking forward to working with Minister Zappone and her team on the development and implementation of the new Strategy”.
Minister Zappone announced the Strategy this morning with the following statement:
“PRIDE 2016…My Message to mark weekend.”
Homophobia to be challenged in first National LGBT Strategy for Young People
Minister Zappone kicks off Pride Weekend with Equality Commitment
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone T.D, has announced that her Department is to lead the development of Ireland first national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Strategy for young people.
Speaking during Pride celebrations in Dublin Minister Zappone said:
“Ireland was shown as a beacon of equality with the result of last year’s marriage referendum trending on social media worldwide. It is something we can always be immensely proud of.
However as people from across the globe gather for Pride this weekend it is also important to reflect on the barriers and challenges which remain, in particular for younger members of our community.
The LGBT Ireland Report published recently identified barriers to good mental health, including bullying at school, fear of rejection and discrimination, harassment and violence and negative attitudes and stereotypes. The report shows higher levels of self-harm and suicidal behaviour among LGBT teenagers as well as worrying levels of severe and extremely severe stress, anxiety and depression.
As a Government we must respond. As Minister for Children I can now confirm that a new national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Strategy for young people will be developed to build on the National Youth Strategy (2015) which aims to enable all young people to realise their maximum potential by respecting their rights, hearing their voices and addressing their concerns.
Regional events, an online forum and those groups who have been championing the rights of the LGBT Community will inform our work and together we will strive for an Ireland which is truly fair, just and equal for all of our young people.