Talk stresses need to en­sure in­clu­sion of gays and les­bians

Bray People - - Bray People -

IS­SUES sur­round­ing the in­clu­sion of gay, les­bian and bi­sex­ual peo­ple were ex­plored at a Bray Part­ner­ship lunchtime talk in the Ra­mada last Tues­day.

In the au­di­ence were peo­ple from a wide range of lo­cal groups and agen­cies work­ing with in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in the town.

Davin Roche from the Gay and Les­bian Equal­ity Net­work out­lined the rea­sons why com­mu­nity groups should en­sure the in­clu­sion of gay, les­bian and bi­sex­ual peo­ple in their work. Re­search has shown that, dis­turbingly, 25 per cent have been phys­i­cally abused due to their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion while 80 per cent had been ver­bally abused and 40 per cent ver­bally abused six times or more.

Roche high­lighted that the av­er­age age peo­ple re­alise their ori­en­ta­tion is 12 while the av­er­age age of dis­clos­ing ori­en­ta­tion is 21, in­di­catin­gan av­er­age of 9 years that a young les­bian, gay or bi­sex­ual per­son may be cop­ing with this is­sue on their own.

The knock on ef­fect of in­ter­nal­is­ing this stress man­i­fests it­self in fig­ures re­lated to men­tal health whereby a huge ma­jor­ity of a sam­ple of 1,100 les­bian, gay and bi­sex­ual peo­ple were de­pressed in the last year and al­most half of women had self harmed. The av­er­age age of self-harm was 16.

Sim­ple mea­sures that or­gan­i­sa­tions can take to in­sure the in­clu­sion of gay and bi­sex­ual peo­ple within their group were out­lined.

This lunchtime talk was one in a se­ries be­ing run by Bray Part­ner­ship. Con­tact Kate at Bray Part­ner­ship on (01) 2868266 for more in­for­ma­tion.

Anne O'Con­nor (Liv­ing Life Coun­selling Ser­vice), Tom Cur­tis (Amach Wick­low), Davin Roche (Gay and Les­bian Equal­ity Net­work) and Kate Dug­gan (Bray Part­ner­ship) in the Ra­mada Ho­tel.

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