LGBT+ in Tipperary
The Department of Rural & Community Development published the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2020 providing funding to address disadvantage across the country. This included support for LGBT Community organisations and following an application funding was secured for LGBT+ organisations in Tipperary.
To utilise this funding requiring Community organisations ‘Take measures to ensure that existing community infrastructure is inclusive and welcoming to LGBTI+ people and consider the provision of pop-up LGBTI+ services. A partnership between Clonmel Resource Centre, North Tipperary Development Company, Tipperary County Council and HSE Health Promotion was established to develop to create a leaflet to highlight the LGBT supports available with Tipperary.
Although Ireland has become a far more inclusive society as it embraces new cultures, communities and diversity; there remains some prejudice and homophobia with in our society. Along with that a lot of older LGBT+ people grew up in a time when homosexuality and transgender were considered a mental illness, a shameful and immoral act.
This resulted in many people experiencing discrimination and rejection and isolation. Thankfully many older LGBT+ people are comfortable with their identity, living full and rewarding lives and have effective resilience skills to manage challenges in their lives. There are also some LGBT+ older people that have never told anyone about this part of themselves.
There are many factors that have been shown to help LGBT+ people to develop their resilience and to be comfortable with whom they are.
• Acceptance of who there are
• Access to supports and organisations
• Affirmation from friends and family and strong relationships
• Friendship and support from the LGBT+ community
The leaflet was circulated widely including to over 80 older persons groups in Information support packs which are being delivered as part of the Covid 19 Keep Well Campaign and will be used in South Tipperary General Hospital in the older persons support information packs.
The leaflet has information regarding sexuality and sexual orientation as well as the details of support services across County Tipperary. It is hoped that this leaflet will support older members of the LGBT+ community to connect with the supports available, but that it will also act as an educational tool to help all older people understand the evolving diversity in Irish Society.