Helping LGBT youth since 2003, BeLonG To celebrates 15 years of service
First founded in the early noughties, BeLonG To has been helping LGBT youth for almost two decades.
A national organisation for LGBT young people, it celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this week. Amongst those congratulating them was Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone.
Offering support for lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans young people aged 14 - 23 in Ireland, they have seen hundreds of young people walk through their doors.
Based on Parliament Street, the charity has spent the last decade and a half offering their services to teens and their parents. These supports include counselling, sexual health courses and advice on coming out to your family.
When I was a teenager I remember friends of mine talking about BeLonG To and how much it helped them.
Not only did it guide them in embracing themselves but in other areas of sexual education. With most schools teaching only heterosexual sex ed, it leaves those in the LGBT community out in the dark.
Thanks to organisations like BeLonG To though, the answers to these questions and many more can be answered, helping young teens be free to lead positive lives and healthy relationships.
Last year I walked with them during the Dublin Pride Parade and I hope to again later this month. I personally know a lot of adults who would not be as confident in themselves today if it weren't for the guidance they received as teenagers from BeLonG To.
A staple of the LGBT community in Dublin, I know I'm not the only person who is looking forward to seeing them grow over the next fifteen years.