Making queer space in the community
While there are a number of great organisations that support LGBT+ people in the city, it’s a little different in the county, certainly in East Cork.
As a result, in 2018 the East Cork LGBT+ Network was formed with a view to helping people socialise and make friends in their own locality. Cumann na Daoine Resource Centre in Youghal helped form this network and it’s been growing ever since.
They’ve hosted regular get-togethers at CnD Community Cafe – more recently they’ve helped people keep in touch through online teatime Zooms and a WhatsApp group. When guidelines allow, they will be back at the cafe – and they’ve a beach walk set up for 30 June in the fine sea air of Youghal’s Strand.
In 2018 they celebrated their first Pride by the Sea, supported by Cork Pride. In 2019 they went it alone and in 2020 staged a small online event. Youghal Pride’s AGM will be announced soon, with plans afoot to host a beach event in September.
The network is a lead partner in the Seeding the County LGBT+ Development project (supported by the LGBTI Community Services Fund 2020). This focuses on building lasting supports in rural and underserved areas across the county.
The group’s 2020 needs assessment report illustrated the challenges facing many LGBT+ people in accessing services, social events and connecting with their community.
The network say they have had a good relationship with Cork County Council, and been instrumental in flying the flag at the Town Hall for LGBT+ History Month, Awareness Month and Pride. They keep raising visibility, advocating for LGBT+ needs, family supports, friendly spaces and taking part in events like the Queer Chronicles history course. The HSE also supports the network.
Seeding the County project runs until December 2021 - after that the network will still be going strong. Get in touch and say hello! Contact the Network at email@example.com or the development project at firstname.lastname@example.org.