LGBTQ+ Youth Seek Support Amid a Climate of Fear
New figures from Belong To, the national organisation supporting LGBTQ+ young people, shows high numbers of LGBTQ+ youth seeking support amid a climate of increasing fear.
Today, launching their 2022 Annual Report, the organisation revealed that youth workers carried out 2,395 interventions with LGBTQ+ youth in 2022.
An Garda Síochána reported a 29% increase in reports of hate crimes and hate-related incidences in 2022.
Belong To has offered life-saving support to LGBTQ+ young people since 2003. Over the past 20 years, the organisation has expanded from a youth service to a national organisation encompassing support services, training, education and advocacy.
Moninne Griffith (she/her), CEO of Belong To, said:
“For the LGBTQ+ community, the world around us seems more unsafe every day. Recently, we have witnessed horrific violence and hate inflicted on members of the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. The impact of this on the young people in our service is palpable, with requests for self-defence classes and a high number of LGBTQ+ youth seeking support.
I believe that when we face challenging times like these, it is in coming together and connecting that we see real, progressive change. At Belong To, we are working to reach through misinformation and polarisation to help people understand the life experiences of LGBTQ+ youth. Through our work, we call people in and help them understand that behind Tweets and viral comments, there are real human beings whose worlds can be shattered by discrimination and hate. We have been here for LGBTQ+ youth for 20 years providing life-saving services, and we won’t stop as long as they need us.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD (he/him) said:
“I am delighted to be here at the launch of Belong To’s Annual Report. 2023 marks an important milestone for Belong To. Much has been accomplished in the last twenty years of Belong To and as we look forward, their work to create a better future for LGBTI+ young people at school, a future where they feel safe, equal, and valued, is as important as ever”
Contact Sinead Keane, Director of Communications and Advocacy. Mobile: 087 768 0389 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- Belong To CEO, Moninne Griffith, is available for interview. To arrange an interview, please contact: Sinead Keane, Director of Communications and Advocacy. Mobile: 087 768 0389 Email: email@example.com
- Download the Belong To 2022 Annual Report here: belongto.org/funding-governance/annual-reports/
- Note to Photo Editors: Photographer Julien Behal is commissioned to cover this Annual Report launch and will be issuing photos to photodesks – for use free of charge – at approximately 12 noon on Thursday, May 25.
- Belong To, LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland is a national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) young people. Since 2003, Belong To has worked with LGBTQ+ youth to create a world where they are equal, safe and thriving in the diversity of their identities and experiences. The organisation advocates and campaigns on behalf of LGBTQ+ young people and offers a specialised LGBTQ+ youth service including crisis counselling with Pieta, information, and the provision of LGBTQ+ youth groups across Ireland. Belong To supports educators and professionals working with LGBTQ+ youth.
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