Gay Primary Source

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Irish President Supports Gay Youth

"A less discussed but nonetheless important issue worth raising is the issue of dealing with sexual identity. Although Ireland is making considerable progress in developing a culture of genuine equality, recognition and acceptance of gay men and women, there is still an undercurrent of both bias and hostility which young gay people must find deeply hurtful and inhibiting. For them, homosexuality is a discovery, not a decision and for many it is a discovery which is made against a backdrop where, within their immediate circle of family and friends as well as the wider society, they have long encountered anti-gay attitudes which will do little to help them deal openly and healthily with their own sexuality. So next time we shake our heads in both horror and despair when we hear of another suicide story, it is worth remembering that the answers do not lie exclusively with health care professionals or politicians. There are things we need to do and to be vigilant about as a community that cares about its citizens and especially its vulnerable young... we could and should decommission attitudes that encourage bullying of all sorts and in particular attitudes that are deeply hurtful to those who are homosexual." Irish President Mary McAleese at the International Association of Suicide Prevention Conference, August 31, 2007

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