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Journalist Una Mullally is the government's new youth LGBT czar

The activist will lead a group to develop a strategy for young LGBT people.

Image: Twitter/MerrionStreet.ie

JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST Una Mullally is to oversee the government’s official strategy for young LGBT people in Ireland.

The strategy is to be developed by a group working as part of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Mullally is to be the independent chair of that group.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone made the announcement this morning, describing Mullally as an “exciting, inspiring and passionate” choice.

The department says that the plan will “address the challenges faced by young members of the LGBT community.”

Mullally was an active campaigner for a Yes vote in the 2015 Marriage Equality referendum and her Irish Times column has dealt with the challenges she has faced as a gay person in Ireland.

She is also the author of a book, In The Name of Love, which charted the fight for marriage equality and the wider issue of LGBT rights.

In accepting her post Mullally said that, despite the recent advances in marriage rights and gender recognition, there is a range of specific problems faced by LGBT people.

“LGBT young people face a unique set of challenges when striving to fulfil their potential,” she said.

Particularly when it comes to mental health, facing bullying in schools, combating negative stereotypes, and dealing with the anxiety of environments hostile to their sexuality or gender identity.

The group developing the strategy will consult with young people across the country and Mullally says it will also draw on the experiences of groups that help and work with LGBT people.

She described the aim of the strategy as being to help LGBT people reach their potential:

To come up with more solutions and actions to ensure that one’s sexuality or gender identity does not impede in any way a young person’s potential to live a life as fulfilling as their heterosexual peers.

“As someone who grew up gay in Ireland, I understand the struggles and complexities of existing in a society that is sometimes hostile to your identity,” she added.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has welcomed Mullally’s appointment citing her “ranging experience” for the role.

“This is an important time for young LGBT people in Ireland, with many issues still presenting a real challenge. So we look forward to working closely with Ms Mullally, and Minister Zappone and her department to support the development of the LGBT Youth Strategy,” commented NYCI director Mary Cunningham.

Read: Gay married couple to return to church choir in Kildare after ‘overwhelming’ public support >

Read: A pastor who wants to ‘cure’ gay people is visiting Kilkenny – and the mayor isn’t a bit happy >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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