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INSIDE OUT

Ger Roe is the Drugs and Alcohol Youth Worker at BeLonG To Youth Services, a service that not only provides support to young LGBT+ people, but empowers them to become agents of social change. We may think the queer kids have it easier nowadays, he says, but there are still massive hurdles for them to overcome.

My own life experiences are what led me to be a Youth Worker. I was an early school leaver, there’s addiction in my family, I come from a disadvantaged neighbourhood where opportunities aren’t great; life outcomes aren’t as linear as the rest of society. What emerged out of that was the realisation that we can continue to get educated, so I went back to school. While I was studying in Maynooth, training to be a youth and community worker, my lecturers said, ‘we want to see what you’re like with issue-based work’. So, I came to BeLonG To.

Photo by Babs Daly.
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About GCN

This month take an in-depth look at the problems and issues facing Irish LGBT+ young people in our annual Youth issue in collaboration with BeLonG To. In our featured interview, Roscommon's own Xnthony talks fake authenticity, rural queerness and rebranding ahead of his Dublin Fringe show, The Power of Wow. Huge misinformation exists amongst young people around HIV transmission and it's all because of a lack of suitable sexual education in Irish schools, writes Ralph Hurley O'Dwyer. Members of trans youth group IndividualiTy tells us about their ups and downs after a decade mentoring and supporting trans kids. BeLonG To's Drugs and Alcohol Worker Ger Roe shares his experiences of helping LGBT+ young people feel empowered, and to become agents of social change. Aifric Ni Chríodáin reports on the HSE's rolling out of the HPV vaccine among gay and bisexual men. Our Budding Burning Issues survey throws up some interesting facts around the opinions of our youngest community members, Plus all the best in news, edutainment, gossip, food and much more.