With the launch of Call It Out – a groundbreaking new LGBT+ public education and awareness campaign, it was revealed that people in Ireland underestimate levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
The campaign, which was launched by Brendan Courtney, Jack Murphy, Ellen Murray and Maria Walsh, is a joint initiative of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and the Hate and Hostility Research Group at the University of Limerick. It describes that despite recent positive changes for LGBT+ people in Ireland, many still experience harassment and intimidation simply because of who they are.
It suggests that LGBT+ people are so used to living with a background of prejudiced behaviour that they put up with abuse and insults.
“This needs to change,” says Call It Out. “We want to send a clear message to the LGBT+ community that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are not acceptable. We want to tell people; no, you don’t have to stand for it.”
The results of a survey conducted by HHRG showed that while only 36% of respondents believed that violence against the LGBT+ community is a serious problem in this country, it reported that in actuality, one in five, or 21% of those surveyed, have been punched, hit or physically attacked in public for being LGBT+.
Of the 1,395 people who replied, one in three members of the LGBT+ community have been threatened with physical violence.
The campaign aims to appeal directly to the wider public while also empowering members of LGBT+ community to seek support when confronted with hostility. It describes:
- Hate crimes and incidents towards LGBT+ people are message crimes, they not only affect the person subjected to them, but they also affect the whole LGBT+ community because they share the same identity and it can therefore create a climate of fear.
- Something that you think is harmless and funny can be very hurtful to members of the LGBT+ community because those jokes and words have been used as weapons against them.
- It is unacceptable in Ireland in 2019 to commit incidents motivated by homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. This behaviour is at odds with the spirit and values of our country and our people, who are welcoming, fair and decent.
Ellen Murray, the campaign spokesperson for TENI said: “LGBT+ people still live with a background of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia as a result of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. For many it feels like it is part of being who they are. We want to send a clear message that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are not acceptable.
“To the general public, we ask that you call out homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when you encounter them. To our LGBT+ community, we ask that you share your experiences with people you trust. Talk about it to find support.”
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