RCSITogether Bulletin 18 – Pride

Dear Colleagues,

This week we bring you a special Pride Week edition of this newsletter – #RCSIproudtogether. Although we haven’t been able to celebrate in person this year, we’ve had a full week of online activities.

Thank you to everyone who supported the EDI Unit and the Pride Staff Network by running events, sharing resources and showing their RCSI Pride.

#RCSIproudtogether – Learning

Anyone who has attended the TENI Trans 101 training will know how the language we use is very important when it comes to being respectful of any individual, including understanding the distinctions between sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

Spunout has created an A-Z of useful terminology when it comes to sexual orientation, and TENI has a helpful glossary of trans terms.

Work can be a place where LGBT+ individuals are uncomfortable about bringing their whole selves to work. Being a supportive and reliable colleague can help to ease this anxiety. LinkedIn Learning has a short course on how professionals who identify as LGBT+ can feel more confident about coming out at work, and how allies can help create a more inclusive work environment – Out and Proud: Approaching LGBT Issues in the Workplace

Gareth Thomas is a Welsh former professional rugby player, who came out as gay in 2009. One of the highest international try scorers, he is also the second most capped Welsh player. His autobiography Proud, written with Michael Calvin, won Sports Book of the Year in 2015. You can capture a glimpse of Thomas’s life in this GCN podcast. You can capture a glimpse of Thomas’s life in this GCN (Gay Community News) podcast in conversation with Panti Bliss.

#RCSIproudtogether – Health Science

The LGBTIreland Report is a groundbreaking study of the mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Ireland. It details the findings of a national study of the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people in Ireland, with a special emphasis on young people. While this study reports improvements in the lives of LGBTI people, it also highlights that minority stress continues to have a very real negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people. You can read the full report here or a summary of the key findings here.

It is crucial that mainstream health and social care services create inclusive and supportive atmospheres, so that LGBTI+ people can enjoy the equality of access to health and social care support services without fear of rejection or discrimination. On Wednesday, 24 June, LGBTIreland and the INMO delivered a webinar entitled Delivering Healthcare to be Proud of.The webinar session focused on:

  1. Making Pride Visible in Healthcare – panel discussion mainly service users
  2. Championing Older LGBT+ people even during COVID19
  3. Understanding Pre and Post Natal Care for Rainbow Families

You can access a recording of the webinar on their website from early next week – LGBT.ie

HIV Ireland has compiled a platform of information about COVID-19, HIV and Sexual Health: information for people living with HIV and for gay and bisexual men; HSE guidelines about sex and coronavirus; and information about restrictions to sexual health services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

When we are talking about HIV, U=U or undetectable = untransmittable means that when a person with HIV has a viral load that is not detectable, they cannot pass on HIV through sex. HIV Ireland explains in brief what this means. Bruce Richman, a leading activist for the U=U campaign explains more in this enlightening segment recorded for CATIE, Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information. You can watch this segment here.

#RCSIproudtogether – Minding Others

Parents and caregivers play a hugely important role in supporting a young person who has come out as LGBTI+. BeLonG To is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland. They have almost 40 LGBTI+ youth groups around Ireland where your child can meet like-minded people, talk about their experiences, and have some fun. They also have supports for and regularly talk to parents and carers who have just been told by their child that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LBGTI+). You can visit their website here.

LGBTIreland also provides invaluable support to the community and their families, see their Supports for friends and family of LGBT people.

Equality for Children is a not for profit organisation that began when a group of LGBT+ parents started working together in October 2019. They are focused on one issue, and that is that children of LGBT+ parents are treated differently to other children in Ireland. Up to May 5th 2020, children born to LGBT+ parents could only have a legal relationship with the parent that was deemed their biological parent. On May 5th 2020, the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will be enacted. This will give only some of these children (40%) a pathway to a legally recognised relationship with their second parent. You can read more here.

#RCSIproudtogether – Minding Yourself

‘Coming Out’ is the term used by LGBT+ people to describe their experience of discovery, self-acceptance, openness and honesty about their LGBT+ identity and their decision to disclose. People come out at all ages and in different ways. LGBTIreland offer 24 hour support, 7 days a week and listen in confidence and without judgement. Areas of support include Coming Out, Mental Health, Parenting, LGBT for older people to name a few. More information can be found here.

6 years since Rory O’Neill, AKA Panti Bliss, stepped onto the stage of The Abbey Theatre as part of their Noble Call series and performed an oration that has had almost 1 million views and been translated into 16 languages. It was widely lauded as one of the most important speeches on homosexuality and homophobia in Ireland. It may be said that it’s a moment in our culture that illuminates so much about our inner self and the society around us, and that becomes engraved in our psyche and history. You can see the 10 minute speech here.

Also, that day in May when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage on May 22nd 2015 on a national level by popular vote. Here is a reminder of the journey that was, the road to Marriage Equality.

And finally, here is a great photo collage put together by Caoimhin O’Conghaile.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Barry, the EDI Unit, and the Staff Pride Network