December 9 saw the publication of a report detailing recommendations from the government’s LGBTI+ Youth Strategy, and it’s a world ﬁrst.
The report was composed following consultation with approximately 4,000 young LGBT+ people and among its reccomendations are a need for more inclusive education and for the enforcement of antibullying policies in schools; gender-neutral toilets, changing areas and school uniforms; the inclusion of non-binary young people in the Gender Recognition Act; and improved mental health services.
Bullying and discrimination were singled out for special attention in the report. Suggestions on the how to combat exclusion included the establishing Gay-Straight Alliance groups present in many US high schools, which encourage support and inclusion between LGBT+ students and their heterosexual peers. Despite the ubiquity of bullying, the report reveals that young people are much more likely to be out at school now than they have been at any time in the past.
“Life is improving for queer young people, but the fear, shame and worry have not gone away,” said independent chair of the oversight committee, Una Mullally, after the publication of the report.
The report also discusses a need to “bridge the gap” between young and older LGBTs. The report is available at www.dcya.gov.ie.
The LGBTI+ Youth Strategy will be published in 2018