Without the agitation of political activists who volunteer, Ireland certainly would not have become the (relatively) LGBT-friendly country it is today.
There are so many groups committed to a range of diverse actions: to end the HIV/AIDS crisis, to repeal the 8th Amendment, to aid LGBT asylum seekers or older persons. So, why not offer your time or even professional skills to a worthy organisation? Participation is the key to social change, after all!
There are many ways to get involved, and to help shape the world in which we live. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
ACT UP Dublin
ACT UP Dublin is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV crisis. Regular meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6.30pm in the offices of HIV Ireland, 70 Eccles Street, Dublin 7 across from the Mater Private Hospital.
“Members include both HIV+ and HIV- people. We are open, democratic, consensus-driven, and committed to grassroots empowerment.”
LGBT+ for Choice
“LGBT+ for Choice is a voice for Pro Choice LGBTQI people in Ireland,” says the group’s Facebook page. “We believe that the 8th Amendment limits the bodily integrity of lesbian, bi-women, trans men & those with non-binary genders.”
Of course, LGBT+ for Choice is one of many such groups agitating for the repeal of the 8th. The national Repeal campaign is co-ordinated by the Abortion Rights Campaign, whose website contains information regarding all the regional repeal groups. Get involved: organise events, write to politicians, volunteer your skills, attend demonstrations, help to spread spread the word!
Identity (LGBT+ Asylum Seekers)
Identity is a support group for LGBT asylum seekers, run by Change of Address, in partnership with the Irish Refugee Council. The group is a peer-to-peer network, offering support and advice as well as a sense of community to its members.
The group meets on a monthly basis for organisational sessions and also schedule a calendar of social events. To join, contact Identity here.
To get involved, volunteer, or donate to Change of Address, visit their website.
ShoutOut is a community of volunteers and activists committed to improving the school environment for LGBT+ young people. They deliver workshops tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying in secondary schools across Ireland.
They are always on the look out for volunteers – those people who actually deliver the workshops to secondary schools. If you are interested in becoming a ShoutOut volunteer, you can register your interest here. (Volunteers must be 18 or over.)
For more ideas on ways to give back to the LGBT+ community, pick up a copy of this month’s GCN.
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