The National LGBT+ Traveller & Roma Action Group have produced an astounding calendar celebrating the LGBTQ+ Traveller and Roma community.
As a moving symbol of visibility, the Action Group are delighted to announce their first ever calendar which will be posted out to various Traveller and Roma organisations, as well as LGBTQ+ groups to promote solidarity and pride.
Carrying the Action Group’s core message of celebrating and protecting the LGBTQ+ Travellers and Roma community as well as their families, the calendar offers a platform for people to express themselves. In the month of February, Pauline Reilly shared, “The heart is not bound by conditions of gender, love is an emotion that neither discriminates nor hesitates when it is felt by two people deeply in love.”
LGBT+ Traveller & Roma Action Group produces first 2021 LGBT+ Traveller & Roma Calendar. ITM are proud to be part of the National Traveller & Roma Action Group. Official press release here: https://t.co/Idva0VQIPu pic.twitter.com/WmqS0nU2Ur
— Irish Traveller Movement (@itmtrav) January 25, 2021
Speaking about the calendar, member of the Action Group and first female Traveller to become Senator, Eileen Flynn, expressed, “[It’s about} valuing people differently within our community, rather than coming down on anyone for their sexuality and gender. Accepting people for who they are, is the only way to be, as there is really no right way to be a Traveller. Live and let live.”
On Twitter, one person celebrated their involvement in this calendar, “Honoured as a Minceir beoir and ally to be part of this calendar supporting LGBT+ Traveller and Roma members. You are loved. Solidarity always.”
According to the All Ireland Traveller Health Study 2010, there are around 4,000 Travellers in Ireland who identify as LGBTQ+. However, many struggle with their mental health as they battle against societal discrimination for a place within their communities and self-acceptance.
LGBTQ+ Traveller, Dillon Collins, stated, “Being gay in the Travelling community is OK and needs more support. If not addressed then this is where the suicide thoughts and depression comes into effect, and when we see young lives dying.”
In recent years, there have been various movements to strengthen support services for LGBTQ+ Travellers. Groups such as BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland have been working alongside the Action Group and LGBT Pavee to bolster awareness and inclusivity.
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