Minister Katherine Zappone has appointed Una Mullally as the chair of a new LGBT youth strategy group
Journalist Una Mullally has been appointed as Independent Chair of an LGBT youth strategy group.
With Mullally heading the group, they will develop a National LGBT Youth Strategy aimed at providing young LGBT with better supports and reducing the discrimination and bullying some young LGBT people face.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone made the appointment and explained that she was delighted to have Mullally, an LGBT activist who campaigned prominently during the same-sex marriage referendum, on board.
“I am delighted that we have an exciting, inspiring and passionate Independent Chair in Una not only to guide the development of the strategy but to encourage all young people to take part,” Minister Zappone said.
“We all remember when images of a sea of rainbow flags in the courtyard of Dublin Castle were beamed across the globe setting Ireland as a beacon for equality – it was a proud moment. However for many in our community isolation, discrimination and bullying remain realities.”
Last month, Zappone wrote a blog detailing her keen awareness of the challenges faced by young LGBT people in Ireland.
Una Mullally brought to light the challenges that young LGBT people continue to face.
“LGBT young people face a unique set of challenges when striving to fulfil their potential, particularly when it comes to mental health, facing bullying in schools, combatting negative stereotypes, and dealing with the anxiety of environments hostile to their sexuality or gender identity,” Mullally said.
“As someone who grew up gay in Ireland, I understand the struggles and complexities of existing in a society that is sometimes hostile to your identity.”
“I hope to bring that experience, as well as my work as an LGBT rights activist and advocate to this endeavour, and will also be guided by the experts in this field, and most importantly LGBT young people themselves.”
Executive Director of BeLonG To, Moninne Griffith, welcomed Minister Zappone’s steps to create an LGBT Youth Strategy, and praised her appointment of Mullally as the Independent Chair.
“We are very pleased to see the Government taking steps to deliver on the LGBT Youth Strategy promised in their Programme for Government earlier this year,” Moninne said.
“As a long-time advocate for the LGBT+ community, and as a young dynamic woman, Una Mullally is an excellent choice for chairperson for the LGBT Youth Strategy.”
Citing “rejection”, “exclusion” and “bullying”, Griffith indicated that young LGBT people still face challenges in their everyday lives.
“We look forward to working closely with Ms Mullally and Minister Zappone on an ambitious and achievable strategy that ensures LGBT+ young people in Ireland are safe and supported in their families, schools and communities so they can thrive as healthy and equal citizens,” she added.
“However, we need to see continued demonstrable investment in supports and services for LGBT+ young people now and a commitment to invest in the actions recommended in the upcoming strategy, if the Government is to be taken seriously about addressing this emergency.”
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.