What did February bring?
With February drawing to a close, we decided we had better give everyone an update on what has been going on here in Outcomers as it seems like March will be on us before we even know it!
We have had a great time catching up with everyone in our youth group, study support group and our young adults group every week on zoom. Even though we can’t physically all be together in the one room, it’s amazing to see the connection and support that everyone provides to each other through a shared virtual space. It’s especially amazing to see how service users are able to welcome new LGBT+ young people to the groups, even if they’ve never met without a screen between them.
The last month also brought a string of social media takeovers from young people with focuses on mental health, LGBT+ representation in movies, LGBT+ artists and more. Head over to Instagram and Twitter to see what they’ve got up to and make sure to keep an eye out for more as they continue to run the Outcomers Youth Twitter and Instagram.
One service user from Outcomers has now joined the Pride Youth Panel 2021 with BelongTo and Youth Work Ireland and is looking forward to the amazing opportunity to meet other young people and being consulted about Pride 2021 and what it is going to look like.
HIV Ireland ran a fantastically informative webinar on HIV: Preventing New Transmissions in Ireland with service users over 18 this month, as well as a great webinar focusing on STIs, Condoms and Safer Sex.
Last week also meant we got to attend the two online chat sessions with Dr. Lisa Brinkmann that Outcomers had arranged for trans and non-binary young people and for their parents. Attendees varied from Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan and Sligo. Dr. Brinkmann is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She specializes in relationship and sex and gender-related issues. Dr. Brinkmann works from Clonakilty Natural Therapies in Co Cork, Ireland.
The two zoom sessions ran online with one dedicated to trans and non binary young people to chat about their journey, share where they were on their journey and ask questions about what they might encounter in the future on their journeys. The second ran on Saturday morning for parents of trans and non binary people, where they also had an opportunity to talk about going on this journey alongside their children and ask Dr. Brinkmann questions as well as chat to other parents.
We think it’s safe to say we left the sessions in awe of the strong, brave and courageous young people that shared their stories and are each walking an individual journey, and of their supportive, loving parents who determined to walk with their children while having a journey all of their own as well. The sessions were such a success that Dr. Brinkmann will be returning to zoom again next month to run these two sessions again.
February also brought an online celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th that a group of young girls, women and feminine identifying people coordinated through their social media takeover. Next up on that particular group’s list is the ‘Coming of Age Feminists’ International Women’s Day event on March 8th from 6pm – 7.30pm that they have spent the last few weeks planning. Women’s Aid Dundalk will be speaking on the day, as well as a panel of young feminists from the group. The event is open to young girls, women and feminine identifying people aged 14 to 25 and you can get your free ticket here.
As always, supports are still available online, by phone or by email. Outcomers’ centre may be physically closed, but we are still here and providing support. Throughout February we have provided support to LGBT+ people of all ages – through phone calls, texts, snapchats, emails, zoom and our socials. Feel free to reach out to us, be it for a friendly chat, support or questions about the services we are currently providing.
All of us here at Outcomers are looking forward to the next month and what it will bring – from our first online youth session for the Open Dialogue Project, to International Women’s Day, the Irish course for service users aged 18+ where we will all hopefully learn a cúpla focail as Gaeilge, to continued groups and training delivery and more.
With Pride (Le Bród),
Bernie and Lorna
Bernie – Centre Manager and Social Inclusion officer
0876200021 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorna – Youth Co-ordinator
0861625030 – email@example.com