Una Mullally and Minister Katherine Zappone at the announcement of Ms. Mullally's appointment as Independent Chair of the group to oversee the National LGBT Youth Strategy
Author, Journalist and Activist Una Mullally has been appointed as Independent Chair of the group to oversee the first ever National LGBT Youth Strategy by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
The group will consult and work with young people across the country to develop a strategy which will address the challenges faced by young members of the LGBT community.
Making the announcement Minister Zappone said:
I am delighted that we have an exciting, inspiring and passionate Independent Chair in Una not only to guide the development of the strategy but to encourage all young people to take part.
We all remember when images of a sea of rainbow flags in the courtyard of Dublin Castle were beamed across the globe setting Ireland as a beacon for equality – it was a proud moment.
However for many in our community isolation, discrimination and bullying remain realities.
No doubt as Una and her colleagues, who we will be appointed in the New Year, begin their consultations young people will identify other challenges – and possibly bring us to conclusions which cannot be predicted.
Una Mullally added:
LGBT young people face a unique set of challenges when striving to fulfil their potential, particularly when it comes to mental health, facing bullying in schools, combatting negative stereotypes, and dealing with the anxiety of environments hostile to their sexuality or gender identity.
I’m looking forward to chairing the development of the first national LGBT strategy for young people, listening to the voices and concerns of LGBT young people, and working with the groups, organisations and individuals across Ireland who have done great work in this area, to come up with more solutions and actions to ensure that one’s sexuality or gender identity does not impede in any way a young person’s potential to live a life as fulfilling as their heterosexual peers.
As someone who grew up gay in Ireland, I understand the struggles and complexities of existing in a society that is sometimes hostile to your identity. I hope to bring that experience, as well as my work as an LGBT rights activist and advocate to this endeavour, and will also be guided by the experts in this field, and most importantly LGBT young people themselves.