Irish schools to show support for LGBTQ+ students for Stand Up Awareness Week

Today marks the first day of Stand Up Awareness Week, BeLonG To's anti-bullying campaign which also coincides with Trans Awareness Week.

Blakestown Community School celebrating the BeLonG To campaign, Stand Up Awareness Week
Image: Twitter @BeLonG_To



BeLonG To campaign Stand Up Awareness Week returns this year to promote inclusivity and to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ young people.

The initiative, which focuses on anti-bullying and LGBTQ+ inclusion, has been well-received by organisations, schools and groups across the country.

“This week, hundreds of second-level schools across Ireland will participate in Stand Up Awareness Week – a campaign from BeLonG To Youth Services to celebrate and recognise the LGBTI+ community,” The Department of Education Tweeted in support. “It’s not too late for schools to get involved.”


Students of St Laurence College raised the Pride flag over their school grounds to celebrate the week and stand with their LGBTQ+ classmates, while Griffeen Community College eloquently spoke out on Twitter, “It is #StandUpAwarenessWeek in school and we are asking everyone in our school community and beyond to be part of the change and choose words that heal, not hurt.”

Running from Monday, November 15-19, Stand Up Awareness Week is running parallel with Trans Awareness Week. This is relevant now more than ever, as Gay Times has reported some heartbreaking statistics about the current state of mental health among our young Trans population.

They report that a whopping 77% of Trans youth have considered suicide, versus 43% of their non-Trans counterparts, while young Trans people are three times as likely to self-harm. These devastating facts come from Just Like Us’ independent research, conducted by Cibyl, and were determined through a survey of 2,934 young people aged 11-18 (1,140 of whom were LGBTQ+).

“Those who seek to deny trans people rights will be just as quick to take them away from all of us,” Dominic Arnall, chief executive of Just Like Us, wrote for Gay Times, “the acceptable status granted to some parts of the LGBTQ+ community is fragile, and as political developments around the world show us, temporary.”

So this Stand Up Awareness Week, be sure to speak up and speak out for our Trans and non-binary siblings.  They’re part of our rainbow family and deserve nothing but support and love.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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