My experience with the LGBT group

L-R Zoe Gogarty LGBT youth worker, Jay Vaughen LGBT group volunteer and Blake Coleman

L-R Zoe Gogarty LGBT youth worker, Jay Vaughen LGBT group volunteer and Blake Coleman

There is so much that I can say about being an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans) volunteer that I don’t know if I can fit it all on one page. My whole journey as a young person on these groups to being a volunteer has been an amazing experience, and that is putting it lightly. When I was 15, I joined the LGBT group which had a massive amount of members. A whopping 2 people including myself. Now, 6 years later, I get to see this small group expand to over a dozen members. I feel immensely proud of the young people in the group. I get to see them grow, mature and overcome the problems that I once faced myself when I was their age.

It’s also an indescribable feeling to be able to pass on my own knowledge and past experiences. From being in their shoes years ago, it can be emotional to see them go through the same issues and battles. As far as Ireland has come in rights and opinions for LGBT people, we still have miles to go. With each battle that is won on the rights front, it is an amazing boost to the happiness and morale of the young people. When the Marriage Equality Bill was passed, the pure happiness and joy that the young people felt was incredible. To quote one young person, “It’s not just a yes for marriage. It’s like a yes, we support you all. Most of the country accepts us, it’s great.” To hear those words come from a young person, who only the week beforehand, felt like the world was against them was outstanding.

-Jay Vaughn