Talk stresses need to ensure inclusion of gays and lesbians
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.