â€œOur aim is to create a safe, supportive and friendly environment for members of the LGBT community and family in and around Longford.â€
Since late 2011, Longford LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) have stuck to their raison dâ€™etre, providing a welcome support and an excellent social outlet for members of the LGBT, their families and friends.
The group have gone from strength to strength since their inception, hosting events such as their successful first birthday party and taking part in the local St Patrickâ€™s Day parade.
Plans are afoot for the groupâ€™s biggest event yet, a week-long exhibition in the Longford Library.
Speaking to the Leader, Longford LGBT PRO Declan Donohoe said, â€œ2015 (the vote on marriage equality) is going to be the most important year for the LGBT in Ireland since homosexuality was decriminalised,â€ continuing to say that â€œwe need to be visible and make people aware of the importance of their voteâ€.
Secretary of the group Donal Kelly added that visibility and normalisation were two key points that the group are hoping to work on.
The official opening of the exhibition, where Dr Lydia Foy, transgender rights activist will be the guest speaker, takes place on Monday, July 21. There will be light refreshments, readings, recitals and a â€˜meet and greetâ€™ of sorts, allowing members of the public to get to know those behind Longford LGBT.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is made up of personal stories of Irish members of the LGBT from all walks of life and all professions.
â€œItâ€™s getting the point across that LGBT affects every part of the community,â€ the two committee members agree, as Donal adds â€œweâ€™re just like your uncle, your cousin, your sister, your doctor or your barber.â€
The exhibition will continue until Friday, July 25 , during which, members of the public are invited to visit during normal library hours. A wide variety of information leaflets and contact details for relevant helplines will be made available at the exhibition, and Donal adds that the â€˜library will be stocking an extensive stock of LGBT literatureâ€™.
Extending their thanks to Donegal Youth Services for the use of their display, Donal and Declan are also eager to thank Mary Carleton Reynolds and the staff of Longford Library for their help and support. For more information on Longford LGBT or the exhibition, call 086 3022161.