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Getting. Shit. Done.

Síona Cahill is the President of the Union of Students in Ireland. She was appointed to the LGBTI+ youth strategy committee by Minister Katherine Zappone, and last year won a GALA for her work as a student LGBT+ advocate. For the Marriage Equality Referendum, she coined the term #MakeGráTheLaw. Síona speaks here about the power of youth activism and what drives those involved.

In 2015, the youth of Ireland, driven by the politically active young queers of Ireland, made grá the law, and in 2018 we did it again -and made mná the law.

As a 26 year old lesbian myself, who sort of stumbled ‘out’ during Marriage Equality as was campaigning between where I’m from in rural Longford and my college at the time in Maynooth University, have seen a generation of queer young people fight to just be themselves. We are still fighting. Fighting for gender neutral bathrooms and spaces, for recognition, for access to decent healthcare, against bullying in schools and workplaces and even at home. We’re fighting to be included in the story of Ireland even still, right down to the relationships and sexuality education we have (or sort of have) and representation in books and on screen.

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About GCN

In this special edition, our community's younger members take over for the annual Youth Issue. Our guest editor Emily profiles a group of young activists leading the charge for a new Ireland. We celebrate 15 years of the awesome BeLonG To, the national organisation supporting LGBTI+ youth while one of their subgroups, The LadyBirds, tackle the lack of awareness around women's sexuality and sexual health. A young asylum seeker in Direct Provision tells us of his struggles with homophobia while LGBT+ people in rural areas speak about the effects of isolation and how youth groups helped them find confidence. We top things off with a preview of the upcoming Science Of The Kiss exhibition, part of GCN's takeover of the Science Gallery. This is a good one!