It’s that time of year again: InterTech’s 3rd annual fundraiser for ShoutOut is upon us! The fundraiser takes place tomorrow, the 12th of December, at 7 PM in Street 66. Get your tickets now on Facebook.
ShoutOut do one thing, and they do it well: they deliver LGBT workshops in secondary schools all around Ireland to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying – training allies at a crucial age. School is a damn fine place to find an ally if you’re LGBT, as you may have experienced yourself. All workshops are free for students, parents and guardians, and teachers – always. That’s why we’re raising money for bus fares, materials, and their office space. We’ll have pizza, tunes, and a toast or two to ShoutOut’s fabulous volunteers! Their work is so important to the cause of LGBT youth – please come and show your support.
They will be raffling off some top-notch prizes on the night:
- 1x Google Home (€150)
- 1x 3 personal training sessions with Rob Kirwan Wellness (€150)
- 1x Google Chromecast Ultra (€80)
- 1x Amazon Kindle (€70)
- 1x Amazon Echo Dot (€60)
- 1x Google Chromecast Audio (€40)
- 1x Limited Edition Absolut Rainbow Vodka (€30)
- Vouchers for Tropical Popical, Samadhi Yoga, Project Arts Centre, Fringe Festival, and many more
Can’t attend? Feeling generous? Make a donation directly on the Eventbrite page.
Why is this important?
In our recent youth issue, Bella Fitzpatrick who volunteers with Shoutout wrote about LGBT+ youth’s experience in schools and how Shoutout is trying to make schools a safer place for them to be.
In a post-marriage referendum Ireland, headed by an openly gay Taoiseach, why is the wellbeing of LGBT+ young people at school still such an issue?
Going into a school as a facilitator for a ShoutOut workshop to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying, you get to enter the mysterious Narnia of the staff room. Often a teacher gives you the rundown of which students might be cheeky and you realise how much they care, and how little you appreciated that when you were a student.
ShoutOut workshops are done in pairs, so it’s you and your co-facilitator and together you are about to change the dynamic of this class. It starts with a declaration: “My name is X, and I’m gay/bi/trans/ an ally/pan/ace etc.,” and continues with a message to be more mindful, more considerate and to make less assumptions. You are playing out scenarios: “A friend comes out to you”, “a classmate transitions…” and you are demonstrating that being an ally requires action.
Being LGBT+ in school is difficult. Why is it difficult? In a post-marriage referendum Ireland, headed by an openly gay Taoiseach, why do we see such worrying statistics around the wellbeing of LGBT+ young people? Well, there are a few reasons. The legal equality we enjoy via landmark bills such as gender recognition and marriage equality have not yet percolated into social acceptance in every part of the island; not yet anyway. It’s still taboo in many places to be LGBT+. Young people can’t come out to their parents or be themselves in school and some don’t make it to adulthood.
Many people might make the mistake of assuming that the general acceptance experienced by some gay people is also being experienced by the rest of the community.
To be clear, when I’m talking about LGBT+ I’m going full-alphabet: trans, asexual, pansexual, intersex (although I respect that not every intersex person wants to be included in the LGBT+ umbrella). Gender roles remain firm. You might have an easier time as a masculine, charismatic gay male student, or as a femme gay female student, but if you don’t adhere to gender norms you can be in for a really tough time in school, even as a cis and straight student.
In ShoutOut, we want to help make schools a more welcoming place for LGBT+ students. LGBT+ students are more likely to drop out of school, and often this is due to bullying. It’s a matter of human rights. If schools are not a safe space for LGBT+ young people, then they are being denied their right to an education.
Find out more about ShoutOut or volunteer to be a workshop facilitator at shoutout.ie
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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