Irish activist Ailbhe Smyth highlights the importance of supporting LGBTQ+ youth through Belong To

Smyth is leaving a Gift in her Will to help Belong To continue its incredible work with queer young people.

Ailbhe Smyth in a video for Belong To. She is on the right hand side of the frame, sitting and looking to someone behind the camera. There is a bookshelf on the left hand side of the frame.
Image: Belong To

Activist and campaigner Ailbhe Smyth writes about how she is helping future generations of young people by including a Gift in her Will to Belong To LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland.

I know from my own experience that coming out was really, really difficult. It was very hard where I worked. It was hard with family and with friends. People just simply didn’t want to know. It was difficult all round.

You may well think the same; imagine if there had been an organisation for LGBTQ+ young people all those years ago. Imagine all the LGBTQ+ young people that my generation grew up among.

I just love Belong To and I have supported their work for many, many years.


And to think, if there had have been a Belong To back then, those young people would have had access to the kind of loving support and experience, and a professional know-how, that Belong To brings to everything that it does – for and with the young people in our LGBTQ+ community.

Belong To is a really important organisation because its work means that young people across Ireland can live much better, much more open, much happier lives. I really do think that Belong To is life-changing.

And while we’ve made so many advances as a community, I’m sure you’ll agree that we’re not there yet. And I worry that we may well slide backwards, as is happening in so many other countries in Europe and across the world.

Whatever’s coming down the tracks, we know there’s going to need to be a Belong To.

There’s going to need to be an organisation that says, “This is how it plays for LGBTQ+ young people. This is where we need to work with you, to develop your confidence, to keep you secure, to keep you safe. To make sure that you can live your life freely without discrimination.”

I think now about the generation of my grandchildren. I have two grandchildren. And one of them, or both of them, may need Belong To, and I want it to be there for them.

At my stage of life, I think it’s important to think about what I do with the small amount that I have to leave. It’s not a lot, but I want to make sure that I leave it to people and to causes where I know it can make some difference. Where it can contribute to creating a world which is genuinely equal.

And I feel that particularly about the community that I’ve grown up in. I cannot think of a group that’s more important to me than young LGBTQ+ people. I think they’re going to need it.

It’s so important for us, as LGBTQ+ people, to remember our own community and to help our future generations in whatever way we can. I really do want to think that LGBTQ+ young people will have a future free from discrimination and can live truly equal lives.

It’s for those reasons that I’m leaving a Gift to Belong To in my Will. And if you can, I would encourage you to do the same. By leaving a Gift in your Will to Belong To, you can ensure that Belong To is always there for future generations of LGBTQ+ young people. That Belong To is there to secure their future and to give them the help and support that they will need.

If, like Ailbhe Smyth, you want to support LGBTQ+ young people in years to come, find out more by contacting Belong To at [email protected] or visit

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This post is sponsored by Belong To

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