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DkIT ‘Pride Across the World’ Event Highlights the Struggles of the LGBTQ+ Community

14 May 2024

DkIT welcomed five speakers to share their stories as LGBTQ+ members. The event which was co-organized by the DkIT Counselling Service and Dundalk Outcomers, and sponsored by N TUTORR was held on April 17, 2024, in DkIT Whitaker Theatre. The event’s focus was to raise awareness for the public about the community and to improve people’s knowledge about LGBTQ+ community struggles worldwide. DkIT students were happy and very open to hear their experiences. The event also featured a Q&A element, where students could ask the panelists numerous questions.



“Don’t judge me, be by my side.” Said Khatia, who struggled with discrimination and abuse in Georgia. Judgements, abuse and being treated differently is what most of the LGBTQ+ members have experienced. In countries, where government has placed strict and forceful laws about the LGBTQ+ community, people of the community struggle daily. Being afraid to come out to their own family or feel like the need to hide themselves is what all four of the speakers and most of the community members have experienced. Speaker Pedro, from Panama was open about this abuse. People in his own country attacked him severely and he sustained many life-changing injuries, just because he is homosexual. This is one of the many reasons why some people are afraid to leave their comfort zone to reveal their true selves.

Since Ireland has laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community, including same sex marriage, people from the community have chosen to come to Ireland and live their best and honest lives. Speakers felt that when they first arrived in Ireland, they felt like here was home with little judgement and discrimination. Pedro called Ireland a ‘Paradise.’ Although they do still face a limited amount of discrimination or abuse, they still feel safer here, being themselves.

Support needs to be shown to people that may be afraid of revealing or still figuring out who they truly are. Mental support like listening and trying to understand the LGBTQ+ community is a way of showing them that they are not alone. “Treat us in a normal way and support us no matter who we are.” Said Ernest from Lithuania. Dundalk Outcomers offers many ways to help LGBTQ+ people of all backgrounds. Reach out to Lorna, their youth coordinator via youth@outcomers.org

DKIT is committed to creating a safe environment for LGBTQ+ students. If there are students facing any difficulties, they can reach out to Student Counselling Service via phone: 0429370247, or through email counsellor@dkit.ie. Students can also meet via DkIT Pride Society, where everyone is welcome.

 

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