LGBTQ Resilience The Cause Of Progressive Shift In Societal Attitudes
Republican Network for Unity send our solidarity to the LGBTQ community in Ireland and to progressives the world over who are struggling tirelessly in defence of the rights and protections of this oppressed section of the public. Social exclusion and discriminatory legislation still exists in Ireland today, despite the dilution of religious conservatism and a more liberal mind-set, the influences of bigotry still can be found in all aspects of society from the workplace, the pulpit to the very highest echelons of government, the latter issue no more prevalent than in the North of Ireland.
With the DUP’s newly found position as Westminster kingmaker and the benefits that this position affords it is welcoming that their reactionary worldview was recently challenged by over one thousand in London to the chant of “Anti-women, anti-gay—DUP, go away!” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, no DUP, no way.”
The chauvinistic and religious bigotry that exist today is the residual negative and narrow minded views of the past, Ireland has come a long way in terms of recognising the rights of the LGBTQ community. From an era when the heterosexual relationship was the only recognised partnership the attitudes of the people of Ireland have certainly improved for the better.
However stigma still protrudes through society, whether it be the homophobic joke in a bar or verbal and physical assault that many of the LGBTQ experience throughout their lifetime, it is our role as Irish republicans to embrace equality in the fullest sense of the term and challenge these attitudes when and where we encounter them. A report carried out by Samaritans tells of positive developments throughout society, none more so that the resilience that the LGBTQ have developed in reaction to societal stigmatisation, harassment and discrimination.
A survey carried out by the Samaritans reveals that 81% of participants said they are now comfortable with their LGBT identity and the majority have good self-esteem and are satisfied with their lives and over two thirds have come out to both their family and friends. When considering the negative societal experiences of many from this community including well over half of pupils experiencing homophobic bullying at school, over a quarter self harming as a result of harassment and over half of twenty five and under considering ending their lives as the result of homophobia.
The burden of this struggle is not for the LGBTQ community to bear alone, as Irish republicans we have committed ourselves to building an Ireland based on the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. The ending of stigmatisation and discrimination it is the responsibility of all members of society regardless of sexuality or gender.
Link to Samaritan report below for those interested in better understanding the experiences of the LGBTQ community.