Irish government announces Live Out Loud: a national campaign celebrating LGBTQ+ youth across society

Live Out Loud is inviting submissions from LGBTQ+ young people and allies to showcase how they are made to feel valued in the spaces that matter to them.

Live Out Loud launch photo Feminine person stands in front of a mural with happy face emoji. They have shoulder length blonde wavy hair and are wearing a facemask covered in rainbow flags.
Image: Maxwells Dublin

Minister O’Gorman marked National Coming Out Day, Sunday, October 11, at Foróige Blanchardstown Youth Service with the announcement of Live Out Loud: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Youth – a national online campaign that celebrates LGBTQ+ youth and aims to show how they are visible, valued and included.

Announcing the call for submissions, the Minister emphasised that this campaign is a youth-led celebration of LGBTQ+ youth. The campaign calls for stories that honour and celebrate the young people, adults, and groups who champion, support, and positively contribute to the everyday lives and experiences of young people in the LGBTQ+ youth community.

Live Out Loud wants LGBTQ+ young people, their allies, and those working with them, to submit stories online to amplify and celebrate the positive, creative and innovative ways those young people are being valued, made visible and meaningfully included in their communities. The stories can be submitted as written word, images, or even video – so get creative!

The campaign is inviting schools, colleges, sports clubs, arts and culture organisations, and youth groups to get involved and celebrate LGBTQ+ young people and champions. The aim is to feature all sectors of society who are living and fulfilling the core objectives of the LGBTQ+ National Youth Strategy in order to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ young people in Ireland today and into the future.

Live Out Loud will collect and showcase positive stories that celebrate LGBTQ+ young people and the campaign really wants to hear:

  • from LGBTI+ young people about how their schools or colleges, arts or cultural groups, sports teams or centres, youth clubs or youth groups make them feel safe, supported and included;
  • how minority groups within the LGBTI+ community are supported to feel visible, valued, safe and included;
  • how LGBTI+ youth, sports, arts or educational bodies are showing solidarity and support to LGBTI+ groups locally and internationally.

Speaking about the campaign, Minister O’Gorman commented:

“I’m delighted to be announcing such a positive campaign – visibility is so important to making sure that LGBTI+ young people feel valued in Ireland. I look forward to hearing and sharing the stories of those wonderful people and places that are influencing, educating, and inspiring every sector of society for our LGBTI+ youth across the country. I cannot wait to see the submissions start coming in.”

At Foróige Blanchardstown Youth Service, young people had this to say:

“As a queer Polish person who’s lived in Ireland for a while now, there are so many places in Ireland and aspects of this country that make me feel valued and accepted. Seeing, for example, Fermoy in Cork suspend ‘twinning ties’ with Nowa Deba in Poland after they declared themselves an ‘LGBT free zone’ stuck with me for a while. Having openly gay TDs and public figures makes such a difference for people who aren’t used to being accepted and seen. Seeing the difference between the treatment of LGBTI+ people here in Ireland, in schools, in the media, in Government, and how they are treated in my home country has a big impact on me. I personally think the Live Out Loud campaign will definitely promote change and the acceptance of LGBT+ people and bring us closer to feeling safe and included as LGBTI+ young people.” Marty Pawlak, 17 yrs.

“Homophobia makes it difficult to accept and be proud of who I am. In Foróige, I feel so seen and accepted by everyone and I can joke and laugh, and complain about the homophobia I experience, with members of Foróige who are just like me.” Rhian Boyle, 15 yrs.

The Live Out Loud campaign will culminate in an event in January 2021 which will celebrate the submissions, contributions and positive stories celebrating LGBTQ+ young people being visible, valued and included from across diverse communities, organisations, and all sectors of society around the country.

To learn more about how to get involved (and to get some inspiration for some possible submission ideas!) click here.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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