It’s a sad day in youth advocacy group BeLonG To as its founding director Michael Barron departs for pastures new.
“It’s been an incredible journey since 2001, when myself and a group of wonderful community activists began to set up what was to become BeLonG To,” Barron told GCN.
“Along the way I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of brave, creative and driven young people. They’ve kept me, and all of us at BeLonG To, focused on the urgency of change – of working to make Ireland an equal place for LGBT and all young people.
“I’ve also had the honour of working with such an imaginative, hard-working and supportive team here – I will really miss them, but am delighted to be leaving BeLonG To in such safe hands.”
A statement from BeLonG To, posted on their Facebook earlier, reads: “Without Michael, there simply would be no BeLonG To. His vision, integrity, compassion and drive gave voice to a generation of young people, who were previously unheard. His unwavering pursuit of social justice combined with his ability to build alliances has changed laws, schools, families, communities. Ireland is a much better place to grow up LGBT in now because of him. Thank you so much Michael we will all really miss you, with Love from all the young people and all your colleagues at BeLonG To.”
However, those aforesaid pastures won’t be all that new; Barron is now moving on to establish a new advocacy group, where, he says, he will continue campaigning for a fair and equal education system for all children and young people.
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.