80% of respondents to an online survey aimed at members of the LGBTQ+ community in Clare said they would like to have more connection with other LGBTQ+ people.
Over half of all respondents did not feel sufficiently connected and supported in their community.
More than 50 people from across the County of Clare took part in this online survey, which was conducted during March as part of a short-term project called LGBTQ+ Clare.
Over 70% of respondents reported having faced discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many respondents felt there is a lack of LGBTQ+ focused mental health supports in the county, while more than 30% of respondents did not feel their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are understood when they engage with existing services in Clare.
The organisers of the survey hope that service providers will take note of the results which can be read here:
It was clear from the responses too that there is a large demand for a social outlet or LGBTQ+ group in Clare. To quote one respondent:
‘I would love a way to meet other LGBTQ people in Clare and just talk to them, to see if they have the same worries or thoughts that I do.’
Meabh Sexton of LGBTQ+ Clare said:
“I was delighted to see the amount of interest there is in setting up a group here in Clare, it will be fantastic to see it come to fruition in the coming months.”
One of the other authors of the survey, Njabulo, a South African who lives in Clare, observed that for LGBTQ+ migrants there can be a difficulty in knowing whether they are safe and respected in the Banner County because of the lack of any visible presence such as support groups, pride events or LGBTQ venues.
Respondents to the survey have now been invited to attend an online meeting which will take place on 22nd April to plan collective solutions for some of the issues raised.
Anyone from the LGBTQ+ community in Clare who would like to attend this meeting is very welcome and can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an invitation.
LGBTQ+ Clare is a short-term project run jointly by Clare Public Participation Network, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company and Rape Crisis Midwest, and supported by The Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council.