ShoutOut is Ireland’s only charity organisation which delivers educational workshops on tackling transphobic and homophobic bullying to schools all over the country, and they have just released a new video highlighting the dangers surrounding the lack of LGBT+ awareness in Irish secondary schools.
The video features volunteers from the ShoutOut executive team recounting their experiences of being LGBT+ while going through secondary school, highlighting the lack of formal education on queer topics such as sexuality and gender identity.
The 2016 LGBT Ireland Report, which detailed the findings of a national study of the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Ireland, with a special emphasis on young people, found that LGBT+ young people are four times more likely to suffer from depression and three times more likely to attempt suicide.
ShoutOut believes that the silence around LGBT+ identities and issues is at the root of this.
Bella Fitzpatrick, ShoutOut’s Managing Director, said, “Schools can uphold rigid gender norms, and operate on an assumption of young people being cisgender and heterosexual. I’ve worked with schools where the students couldn’t bring same-gender dates to the debs, what place does that have in a country with marriage equality?”
We really need your help to make sure we can keep reaching schools all across the Island of Ireland and put an end to LGBTQIA+ exclusion in schoolshttps://t.co/WAOe7SwYH2
— ShoutOut (@ShoutOut_IE) November 9, 2018
Fitzpatrick added, “Young people need role models but unfortunately, there is little in our curriculum to show happy well adjusted LGBT people. So in the silence young people fill in the gaps themselves through the internet which doesn’t always have positive messages for LGBT youth.
“Teachers are ill-equipped due to no fault of their own, the vast majority of teachers want to be supportive but simply do not know what to say. This is why we offer free teacher training as well as our student workshops to ensure an inclusive learning environment for all young people.”
Meanwhile, Declan Meehan, Chairperson of ShoutOut’s Board of Directors, said, “We’re the only organisation doing this work. You can instantly see the difference a workshop makes at the end of every session.”
If you would like to help ShoutOut with their amazing work, you can donate here.
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