Coming Out - by Ellen Norton

“Coming out” is defined as, a metaphor for LGBTQI+ people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. However, I feel something as complex as coming out should not have a specific definition as a major issue, in society there is the assumption that “coming out” is the same for everyone. Although this obviously is not the case and each person has a completely different experience of it. For, example some find it a rather natural experience because they are surrounded by open minded people and who are completely comfortable with it, but for others it's a burdensome experience that they severely struggle with.

It is extremely important for people to understand that coming out is not just a one-step thing, first you begin to question yourself and your sexuality and come to terms with it, when you finally figure it out, which, can take years and can be very damaging to your mental health, then one must somehow work up the courage to tell people, this is often mistaken as something you do once or twice but it’s not. It’s a tiring process that you have to do many times in your life, in fact it's usually something you have to do every time a new person enters your life, which if you’re comfortable with is fine, but for someone who has struggled with it and gets a negative reaction once it can be a terrifying thing to have to do. Although we would think this kind of rejection would no longer exist for the LGBTQI+ community it sadly does, with 1 in 5 young Irish people saying they still face harassment and bullying because of their sexuality or gender identity. as it is in the south.

What is needed is more support. With local support services such as, the Newry Rainbow House closing, due to lack of funding, it is crucial that support services such as, the Newry Rainbow Community, are adequately funded. What is needed is an Island wide LGBTQI+ support service that is dedicated to the advancement of full LGGBTQI+ liberation. But, partition stops this. Two failed states with two charitable regulations, partition is failing our LGBTQI+ community. #partitionsucks  

by Ellen Norton

Ógra Shinn Féin