Survey shows urgent need for supports for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community
80% of respondents to an online survey aimed at members of the LGBTQ+ community in Clare said they would like to have more connection with other LGBTQ+ people. Over half of all respondents did not feel sufficiently connected and supported in their community.
The survey, which was conducted during March as part of a short-term project called LGBTQ+ Clare, highlights an urgent need for supports and services for the LGBTQ+ community in the county.
More than 70% of respondents had faced discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many respondents felt there was a lack of LGBTQ+ focused mental health supports in the county and that they would benefit from improved mental health services. More than 30% of respondents did not feel their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are understood when they engage with services in Clare.
Some also called for community specific sexual health clinics and better access to gender-affirming hormones.
Many respondents said they would benefit from an LGBTQ+ cafe, pub or community space in order to meet others who identify in a similar way. Others felt that businesses in Clare could openly show their support for the community by placing flags, stickers, etc. on their premises.
The survey results point to several key issues that need to be addressed:
• Education concerning sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and other spaces.
• Improved visibility and support from the wider community.
• Access to healthcare, particularly sexual orientation and gender identity focused mental health supports.
• The formation of an LGBTQ+ social/peer group in Clare.
• The creation of a confidential helpline that those struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity can reach out to.
Overall, there is evidently a strong desire to form a social group, preferably a meet-and-greet to improve inclusivity and visibility in the Clare area. There is a lack of gender-neutral spaces for trans and non-binary individuals such as locker rooms and bathrooms.
The survey results point to a lack of education both in schools and other spaces on issues pertaining both to sexual orientation and gender identity.
To conclude, the LGBTQ+ community in Clare would greatly benefit from better access to healthcare and mental health supports. Many members of this community report a lack of connection within their community and many are still facing some form of discrimination here in Clare. There are steps which can be taken in order to improve the experience of this community, as outlined above.
More than 50 people from across Clare took part in the survey.
LGBTQ+ Clare is a short-term project run jointly by Clare PPN, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company and Rape Crisis Midwest, and supported by The Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council.
LGBTQ+ Clare is currently planning its next steps. If you would like to be part of the organising group or you would like some more information, please get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org