Through our campaigning, we ensure policy formation and practice is informed by the voice and experiences of LGBTQ+ young people and help individuals understand what life is like for LGBTQ+ youth today.
Stand Up Awareness Week
Stand Up Awareness Week is Ireland’s largest LGBTQ+ anti-bullying campaign. Running Stand Up Awareness Week is the first step in creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ young people in your school, Youthreach or youth service. It is a time to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth so they feel seen, heard and safe, and to ensure everyone knows that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying will not be tolerated.
Stand Up Awareness Week is supported by the Department of Education, and is endorsed by major organisations in the post-primary school sector, including the National Association of Principals, the teachers’ unions, guidance counsellors, and management bodies for second-level schools.
Better Out Than In
Better Out Than In is a digital campaign that aims to promote help-seeking behaviour amongst LGBTQ+ young people aged 14 to 23. Through this campaign, we reach LGBTQ+ youth across Ireland, highlighting the importance of talking about their mental health and promoting the HSE 24/7 crisis textline, 50808.
To help break the stigma of asking for help, we have collaborated with mental health professionals from Insight Matters, MyMind and the HSE 50808 textline to create short videos sharing information about therapy and seeking mental health support. You can take a look these videos and more in our #BOTI22 pinned story on Instagram, @belongtoyouthservices
As part of the Better Out Than In campaign, we also host an online hub for LGBTQ+ youth where they can learn a variety of ways of supporting their mental health and engaging in help-seeking behaviour.
It’s Our Social Media
It’s Our Social Media is a new digital media campaign launched in 2022 and funded by Google.org through the 2019 Impact Challenge on Safety. The campaign combats online hate speech experienced by LGBTQ+ youth, while empowering young people to take back social media and protect themselves online through two simple actions – #FeedTheGood and #BlockTheBad. The campaign also has an online hub, itsoursocialmedia.com, with information on staying safe online, digital self-care tips, and how to block certain content or keywords.
Another key element of the campaign is holding social media companies to account, and calling for better regulation of online spaces. As part of the 2022 campaign, we furthered this aim by calling for the introduction of new online safety laws. We were delighted to see the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act pass in December 2022!
‘If everybody chose to come in, nobody would have to come out.’ This is the central message of our award-winning #ComeIn multimedia campaign. In partnership with the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and 2FM, the #ComeIn campaign ran for four years, from 2019 to 2022.
Over the years, #ComeIn featured videos of people of all ages ‘coming in’ as allies to the LGBTQ+ community, and photographs of LGBTQ+ youth featuring projections of what they wish they had heard from their loved ones when they came out.
A highlight of the #ComeIn campaign was airing our first ever TV ad in 2021. The ad encouraging people to think twice about using derogatory, homophobic slurs, and was shown on RTÉ over four days, reaching an audience of over 1.2 million. A huge thank you to IAPI, 2FM, and all of the incredible creative professionals who worked with us on #ComeIn over the years!
On February 8th, 2020, the Irish public voted to elect the 33rd Dáil Éireann. Our #VoteWithPride general election campaign was driven by the knowledge that the general election would be crucial to deciding the future for LGBTQ+ young people in Ireland. The campaign outlined how the Irish Government can improve safety, equality, and inclusion for LGBTQ+ young people. It was an instrumental lobbying and information guide for our organisation, partners, voters, and candidates.
We look forward to re-launching the #VoteWithPride campaign, with updated key asks and priorities, in advance of the next general election.