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Launch to Mark IDAHO – Positive Recognition of Lesbian, Bisexual & Trans Women

Launch to Mark IDAHO – Positive Recognition of Lesbian, Bisexual & Trans Women 

Monday, 17 May 2010 

Today, the BeLonG To Youth Services’ group, The LadyBirds, launched a groundbreaking resource for women who are lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LBT). This inspirational youth-led project tackles invisibility, mental health and sexual health issues.  

‘Positive recognition of lesbian, bisexual and trans women’ is a postcard that will be distributed nationally to health centres, community centres, youth services, cafes and other public venues. 

Speaking at the launch, Amy, 19 said, “The LadyBirds started five years ago as a group for young LBT women. Over time it became apparent that the issues such in relation to physical, mental and sexual health kept coming up. When we went looking for resources such as information, support or services we couldn’t find any, so we decided to create our own.

“We’ve worked really hard to get to where we are,’ said Toni, 18, ‘we gained so many skills along the way.  We feel really proud that we’re making history, as a group of young LBT women especially as we have designed and implemented every element of this programme ourselves.”

This resource is responding to the shocking statistics that emerged from recent Irish research, ‘Supporting LGBT Lives’ (Paula Mayock, et al, Trinity College): 

  • 40 % of lesbian, bisexual and trans women have self harmed 
  • 24 % have attempted suicide at least once. 

National Network Manager of BeLonG To Youth Services, David Carroll, said, “There are few to none resources targeted at LBT women in regard to mental and physical health promotion.  There’s a serious lack of knowledge and awareness in Ireland.’”

The LadyBirds’ youth worker and BeLonG To’s drugs outreach worker, Gillian Brien, speaking at the launch, said, “The young women want to promote self-acceptance, access to support services and to promote awareness of health related issues which may affect young LBT women. I’m really impressed with what the girls have achieved.”