I have been Chair of the NXF (the National LGBT Federation) for nine months now. It has been a busy time working alongside my fellow board members to create a new strategy.
Established In 1979, the NXF is the longest-running LGBT NGO In Ireland. It has played a vital role in campaigning for the equal rights of, and to combat discrimination against, LGBTQ+ people across our communities in Ireland and abroad. The NXF has been at the forefront of pushing for change and equality for the LGBTQ+ community of Ireland.
In 2022, the NXF continued its practice of identifying the key focus for its work, starting with developing a strategy for GCN, and in 2023, a strategy framework for all the work of the organisation. It is now perfectly placed to move in an exciting, refreshed and focused direction.
In spring of this year, Patricia Prendiville came on board as our consultant to help us navigate our way through the strategy process. Working with Patricia was a superb experience. Having someone who could see our qualities, see where we needed to push ourselves, help us understand what we wanted to achieve, was invaluable.
Despite the legal and social changes that resulted from Marriage Equality 2015, and the Equal Status Acts (2000), there is an on-going need for LGBTQ+ organisations throughout Ireland to deliver services, provide supports, and advocate for policy and other legal reforms which enable LGBTQ+ people to live lives as equal citizens without fear, discrimination or exclusion.
Here in Ireland, the National Youth LGBTI+ Strategy (2018) and the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy, have provided impetus, funding, focused policy development, and more collaborative design and delivery of services, which have all positively impacted LGBTQ+ people.
Building on our strengths, we have identified three core areas where we can positively impact the lives of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re calling the three pillars of work Connecting, Celebrating and Empowering. Our impact is achieved by engaging in activism, advocacy, research and education, and we acknowledge and celebrate the community’s achievements. Our aim is to reflect this in the work that we do for our diverse and intersectional LGBTQ+ community.
Along with our ongoing work, we have two further projects that we are excited to announce. One is the Activist Academy. This will be an empowering advocacy training course for a new generation of activists, harnessing the skills and experience of those who have fought for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland over the decades. And our Rainbow Summit - a gathering that will create an inclusive space to meaningfully explore issues facing our communities, extending the reach and awareness of NXF as a national organisation.
Working with a board that has incredible insight, vision and passion, I am honoured to lead the NXF as it moves into the next stage. We remain committed to serve the LGBTQ+ community, and as Chair of this organisation, I will pursue, whole heartedly, all these new ambitions we hope to achieve.
The full version of the strategy available at www.nxf.ie