Young and proud in Limerick

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The Garda Pride Car attracted plenty of attention at the Northside Youth Space during Pride 2021.

YOUNG people have plenty of Pride too. Limerick Youth Service is hosting a plethora of fun and energetic events, including the Pride Garda car and chat services.

A celebration of the LGBTQI+ youth community, a drop-in information afternoon, sexual health workshop and the annual Pride Youth Party are all part of a busy week of events as Limerick Youth Service and GOSHH (Gender Orientation Sexual Health HIV) mark Pride 2022, organised by members of the LGBTQI+ Youth Group.

“The young people have been very busy organising the week and after the challenges of the past two years, are looking forward to celebrating in person,” said Cathy Barry, LYS.

“We are all looking forward to what promises to be a very enjoyable and action-packed week.”

While the Covid-19 pandemic and the various restrictions effected the general population, it was quite challenging for LGBTQI+ young people, particularly those who had not ‘come out.’

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“There were some LGBTQI+ young people who had to hide their true selves or couldn’t meet up with friends and this certainly effected their mental health,” said Cathy.

Part of the wider Limerick Pride Festival, the Pride youth events are open to all young people regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The Pride Youth Party will be held on Friday (July 8) from 2-6pm for 14 to 19-year-olds and there will be colour, music, art and lots more at the Lava Javas Youth Café, on Lower Glentworth Street.

The Pride pre-parade party at Lava Javas Youth Café on Saturday (July 9) from 11am to 3pm is for young people aged 14 to 19 to get together and make banners, bunting, get their faces painted and enjoy the build up to the main event.

LYS Youth Information Centre will be available throughout the week where young people can speak with Youth Information Officers about coming-out, accessing support, use of words and other issues.  The chat and information service is available weekdays from 4 to 8pm. Venue information is on the LYS website.

“Although attitudes have changed, there are still young people for whom ‘coming out’ can be a lonely and tough place and that is where our group helps,” said Cathy.

The Youth Pride group meet weekly at LYS where LGBTQI+ young people can meet friends or access support and information on issues such as sexuality and gender.

For information on the Pride youth events contact Cathy at [email protected] or call/text 087-3508572.