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Taking Pride - celebrating diversity and inclusion

Published 26/06/2019

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Pride Week runs from June 20th – 30th June is the festival celebrating the LGBTQI+ community. In 3 days time the Pride Parade and March will take place in Dublin on Saturday 29th June and is the culmination of 10 days highlighting the diversity and inclusion of people. Age Action values diversity, social justice and inclusivity.  As an organisation that represents all older people, this includes people who identify as LGBTQI+.

It is only 26 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Irish law and just over 4 years since the citizens of Ireland voted for marriage equality.  Our older cohort of citizens have witnessed, and led, these changes but some have been left behind and find it difficult to live and identify as LGBTQI+. 

In the UK, a report has just been published highlighting health inequalities among older LGBT people. This builds on previous evidence which shows that older LGBT people have worse outcomes across different aspects of their lives including physical health, loneliness, social isolation, mental health, and experiences of violence. Action is needed to address these health inequalities for older LGBT people through improving the inclusivity of mainstream health and care provision, strengthening the training of health and care staff and enhancing data collection around older LGBT people and their health and care needs. The full report can be viewed at https://ilcuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ILC-Raising-the-equality-flag.pdf

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

After the St Patrick’s Day Parade, the second biggest public event on the streets of the capital city is the Dublin’s Pride Parade. The term ‘Pride’ didn’t become popular until the early 1980’s, a tradition established following the Stonewall Riots in New York.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that began on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan.

The holding of LGBTQ+ events at the end of June was adopted very early in Dublin. In June 1974, 10 people marched from the Department of Justice on Stephen’s Green to the British Embassy to protest the criminalisation of homosexuality, a law that was a hangover from colonial times.

In March 1983, the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Collective held a protest march in response to the failure to commit to prison those convicted of the murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park. About 900 people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park. The National LGBT Federation organised the first Dublin Pride Parade which went from Stephen’s Green to the GPO in June of that year.

In 1993 homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland with the passage of the second phase of the bill to decriminalise sexual acts between consenting adults under the Criminal Law Bill (Sexual Offences) in 1993.

Last year over 60,000 people marched in the Dublin Pride Parade. In just a generation, the annual parade and festival has grown from a handful of people to become one of the biggest and most popular events in Ireland.

More to Do

Along the way the laws and constitution of Ireland have been changed and with that the hearts and minds of many of our citizens. But there is still a long way to go.

Discrimination against older LGBTQI+ is the focus of a European funded programme in which Age Action is a participant.  For more details see www.best4older-lgbti.org

If you would like to find out more about Age Action’s work in this area of are interested in taking part in upcoming events around this topic then please make contact with our Lifelong Learning team or email billy.okeeffe@ageaction.ie directly.

Ally2Ally Campaign - LGBT Ireland are running a campaign to raise awareness of their support services.  They are asking people to 'come out' as LGBT Allies and to speak to their friends, family, colleagues and peers about how they can be a better LGBT Ally.  For more information see www.lgbt.ie

To see the full listing of  Pride events happening over the next few days go to www.dublinpride.ie

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Did Budget 2020 Take Steps Towards a Fairer Society for an Ageing Population?

 

The Government's Budget 2020 choices did not include measures to address the inequalities faced by older people living in Ireland who are family members and contributors to our communities. Budget 2020 did not offer the majority of older people the support they need to meet the rising cost of living that is anticipated by the impacts of Brexit and it did not offer a concrete plan to support us to age in place.

 

Equality for older people requires the re-distribution of resources; power and influence; status and standing; and respect.  While the Government has increased some secondary benefits with the view to targeting people in the most vulnerable situations, which is a sensible approach, it has to be acknowledged that if people had adequate income to meet the true cost of ageing, they would be able to have choice over how to spend their money to best meet their specific needs.

The net affect of Budget 2020 on the income of older person headed households is;

  • Those under 80 and living with another person are €1.08 better off per week following Budget 2020 and have seen a weekly increase of €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those under 80 and living alone, they are €6.08 better off per week following Budget 2020, and have seen a weekly increase of €20.48 on 2009 income

 

  • For those over 80 and living with another person, their weekly income has risen by €1.08 in Budget 2020, and €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those over 80 and living alone, they are better off by €6.08 per week following Budget 2020, and €20.48 since 2009.

 

Some people who are over 80 are people in the most vulnerable situations in our society with no capacity to increase their income while dealing with the increasing cost of ageing. A person over 80, not living alone, received €1.08 per week to cope with Brexit, the carbon tax increase and the rising cost of living in 2020. It is on the backs of these people that our economy has been built: these are the same women and men who lived through the Marriage Bar, shouldered several recessions and are now dealing with the accumulated disadvantages. In working for equality, it is critical that we focus on equality of outcomes not just equality of opportunity.