The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, welcomes the video participation by the LGBTI+ Youth Forum in the online celebration of Pride 2020, Dublin Pride’s Virtual Parade to be live-streamed this Sunday 28th of June at 2pm.
Marking the celebration of Pride by the Youth Forum, Minister Zappone said,
Pride is a special time for all of us to join together as a community to celebrate our diversity and promote the visibility and inclusivity of all LGBTI+ people. While we are celebrating in a virtual domain this year, recent months have demonstrated how strong we are together. This video, from young LGBTI+ members of the Youth Forum, will make visible their diversity across different identities, locations and backgrounds throughout Ireland. It will show that in spite of distance and difference we are all working together to make Ireland a more inclusive place.
The LGBTI+ Youth Forum is a group of young LGBTI+ people, aged from 16 to 22, that supports the implementation of the world’s first LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020, which was originally launched by Minister Zappone during Pride 2018. The mission of the Strategy is to ensure that LGBTI+ young people are visible, valued and included and it demands action to make this a reality.
The voice of children and young people was integral to the Strategy development process and the LGBTI+ Youth Forum continues to keep young people at the heart of Strategy implementation through their active participation in realising its goals. The Youth Forum comprises young people nominated from across Ireland with different backgrounds (ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities). Acknowledging the important contribution of the Youth Forum, Minister Zappone said,
the dedication and commitment of this group of LGBTI+ young people is a real inspiration to me. It highlights the importance of including the voice of young people in Government decision-making and shows that our young people can make a real difference for themselves and others.
Members of the Youth Forum have been crucial to progressing actions from the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy. The Forum has given LGBTI+ young people the opportunity to participate in decision-making on the issues that affect them. A young person from the Youth Forum said,
I think the Youth Forum is a fantastic opportunity to be heard and to influence change for LGBTI+ young people. Our video for Virtual Pride is about having our voices heard here as part of this celebration.
Notes for the Editor:
National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy 2018 – 2020 (LGBTI+NYS)
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) published the world’s first National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy 2018 – 2020 (LGBTI+NYS) in June 2018. It is a key commitment for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as part of the Government's broader commitment to continue to strive for the full inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Irish society.
The Strategy identifies three strategic goals to support the achievement of the LGBTI+NYS vision. These goals cascade down into 15 Objectives and 59 actions, involving collaboration between Government Departments, Agencies and sectors. The Goals align to the five national outcomes of the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020 (BOBF) and governance and implementation of LGBTI+NYS sits within the comprehensive Framework for the implementation of BOBF, as one of its constituent strategies.
A Children and Young People’s Policy Consortium oversees and drives the effective implementation of BOBF, with representation from various Government Departments, Agencies and NGOs and is supported by a number of dedicated or relevant groups. Implementation of the LGBTI+NYS is additionally supported within the BOBF Framework by the LGBTI+ Youth Forum, which involves young people in implementing the strategy, an annual implementation forum and the appointment of Olivia McEvoy to the Oversight Committee of the BOBF Advisory Council specifically to represent LGBTI+NYS.
The implementation of the Strategy is also supported by its partner strategy from the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE), the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021. DCYA are collaborating with DJE on implementing shared actions from both strategies.
In October 2019 the First Annual Report on the Implementation of the National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy 2018 – 2020 was published, which delineated the implementation of each Goal, Objective and Action up to the 4th quarter of 2019. This report, available on the Gov.ie website, shows that, by 2019, work had progressed on 55 of the 59 actions under the Strategy. Since then further progress has been made in implementing the Strategy and further reports will be published in due course.
During the COVID-19 restrictions the Youth Forum have been meeting online and have continued their work programme on supporting the implementation of this Strategy. Over this time, the young people involved in the Forum developed their own members’ Instagram account to highlight their work and the supports available to other young LGBTI+ people during quarantine. The Youth Forum have also continued to progress the actions from the strategy assigned to them and have adjusted planned activities in light of the current public health emergency.