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Budding Burning Issues

The issues facing Ireland’s LGBT+ young people

The Top 10 Burning Issues for Young LGBT+ People



Lack of Acceptance & Understanding

Most young people mentioned that they don’t feel fully accepted in society. Some focused particularly on family, friends or teachers. In general, there was a sense that young LGBT+ people do not feel understood, especially since they see so many people relying on stereotypes instead of actually informing themselves regarding LGBT+ issues.

“Yes things have changed for the better, but are we really a LBGT-friendly country? I’ve seen three LGBT+ couples (excluding Pride) holding hands publicly in my lifetime.”

“Even if society is now for the most part accepting, when there’s no mention of what you identify as, you can feel a bit invisible – which leads to more stress/worry. I’d like to see an Ireland where from the beginning, in schools, both communities, straight and LGBT+, are represented and encouraged and presented as normal.”

“I want more gay bars in rural and urban areas, I’m sick of not being comfortable enough to talk to whoever I want or kiss a boy just because I’m in a club with ‘straight’ people.”

The peak age of respondents is 17 (21%)




Inclusive Sex Education

The next most highlighted issues was the need to overhaul the way our education system approaches sexual and relationship education to ensure it is inclusive of LGBT+ people and issues.

It was acknowledged that sexual education in general is very poor and that straight students would benefit from an improved curriculum. Some young people also highlighted that LGBT+ issues could be included in other subjects too, especially English and History.

“In all my school years there was no same-sex sex talk, no information on coping with realising you’re LGBT+, no representation in school literature whatsoever. That struck me as a major issue because in a school of over 700 students there’s absolutely no way all of them are straight!”

“There is zero LGBT+ education in the Irish education system and this is a serious issue which needs to be fixed. Straight sexual education, which is mediocre at best, is the only sex ed received by Irish students growing up; this leaves young people of the LGBT+ community in the dark and therefore almost totally reliant on the internet to find there own sexual education. An improved sexual education curriculum would help remove the taboo on speaking about LGBT+ issues and as result help many closeted young people to accept themselves as well as hopefully exterminate homophobia from schools and work places.”

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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.