Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone has written a blog reflecting on her progress and goals in her role as Minister
Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone wrote a blog declaring that she is “keenly aware of the challenges and the difficulties faced by LGBT Young People in our country.”
Zappone advocates for putting the voices of young people at the centre of her policies, including the voices of young LGBT people.
“Marriage Equality lifted our spirits and transformed family life, but for many of our young brothers and sisters discrimination, bullying and even hate are an everyday reality,” Zappone said.
It’s Good To Talk
Highlighting one of her first actions following her appointment as Minister, Zappone reflects on the awareness raising and information campaign ‘It’s Good To Talk’, which launched in June the day after the Orlando massacre.
“One of the first engagements following my appointment was to launch ‘Its Good to Talk’, an awareness raising and information campaign by the LGBT Helpline with support from Eir,” Zappone wrote.
“Few could have predicted that the launch would end up taking place in the shadow of the gun, as 24-hours earlier the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Florida took place. ”
“While the Pulse Nightclub attack is at the extreme end of the scale, Research in Ireland does tell us that LGBT young people often feel victimised, discriminated against and isolated.”
“As Minister for Children and Young People I find this deeply disturbing.”
To help combat the discrimination that LGBT young people experience in Ireland, Zappone indicated that she has secured funding which will support her LGBT strategy.
“In the recent Budget I secured €400,000 to underpin the LGBT strategy as well as €57m for youth projects across the country,” she said.
Zappone recognised the significant milestones that Ireland has reached when it comes to LGBT equality and declared that the National Youth Strategy will help bring about “full equality” for LGBT young people.
“As a life-long campaigner for equality and justice, I know it is a journey with many milestones. It requires determination, passion and strength,” Zappone said.
“A hugely significant milestone was reached with Marriage Equality but it cannot be the end of our journey when so many of our community still face discrimination and isolation.”
“The National Youth Strategy will build on the success of the referendum and bring us closer to the full equality – which we all strive for.”
The Minister for Children & Youth Affairs also welcomes ideas and suggestions to help improve the lives of young LGBT people.
“I look forward to the months ahead and being kept updated on the work. I also look forward to receiving recommendations which can make a real difference in the daily lives of young people.”
What do you think Zappone and her office could do to positively impact the lives of LGBT young people in Ireland? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Marc O’Sullivan
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