“It is a historic day for the LGBT+ community, and indeed for all of Ireland as we welcome the country’s first openly gay presumptive Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar. This is a huge step forward for Ireland and we applaud the fact that this political race focused on policy and the issues, and not sexual orientation.
As Ireland’s national LGBT+ youth service, we are delighted that the new leader of Fine Gael is a gay man, and now a role model for the youth who use our services across the country.
There is no doubt there has been a huge change in Ireland since the Marriage Equality Referendum. But we have to be realistic and remember that there are many thousands of LGBT+ young people who continue to face harassment and bullying because of their sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression.
There has been a 100% increase in the number of young people accessing our services since the referendum. Each week, we have 150 young people coming through the doors in our Dublin services and hundreds more accessing support through our national network of LGBT+ youth groups. We are committed to continuing to represent LGBT+ young people and their families and we look forward to working with the presumptive Taoiseach on improving their lives and well-being.”
-Moninne Griffith, Executive Director, BeLonG To Youth Services