In light of the State & Government Apology for the criminalisation of homosexuality, LGBT Ireland highlighted the need for social supports for older people.
14% of calls to the LGBT Helpline last year were from older LGBT people. The main reasons for contacting the organisation were due to lack of social supports, isolation and loneliness. Many of these callers are not out and carry deep internalised fears about homophobia due to the stigma and discrimination of LGBT identity’s which they witnessed when they were younger.
As the national organisation which provides quality support services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people CEO Paula Fagan welcomed the Taoiseach’s and Governments apology but as a frontline service she added that “we are informed on the issues and experiences raised on the LGBT Helpline, citing the 2017 figures which responded to nearly 2,000 contacts to the helpline of which 14% were from older LGBT people many of whom lived before the decriminalisation of 1993.”
Providing supports is vital now and in doing this helps to correct the mistakes of the past.
LGBT Ireland provides peer support through their “First Out Groups” for gay and bi men in Dublin and Galway and with plans to add a Cork group soon, these groups offer supports to men of all ages. But Ms Fagan stressed that “more resources are needed for dedicated support services for older LGBT people across the country, funding is also needed to train health and social care staff in mainstream older people’s services to ensure they are welcoming and inclusive of older LGBT people.”
Ms Fagan pointed to the words of the Taoiseach when he thanked people who “helped change minds and change laws” in 1993 but “help is still needed 25 years later and into the future to give all LGBT people full inclusive rights and supports”, says Ms Fagan.
If you have been affected by any of the events of recent days or want to contact LGBT Ireland, www.lgbt.ie & Helpline 1890 929 539
AMACH! LGBT Galway aims to reflect equally the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by encouraging positive participation from the community. We actively advocate to achieve a solid and safe support structure for the LGBT+ community in Galway. We aim to provide awareness, educational and training events and workshops, and endeavour to support and promote a socially inclusive firstname.lastname@example.org
Teach Solais LGBT+ Resource Centre and AMACH! LGBT Galway are located in the Westside Resource Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Galway H91C1KX. Phone 089 497 email@example.com