10 Oct, 2012
Bullying Bites: New initiative from LGBT support group
Posted by: peter in: Charity
“That’s so gay.”
“She’s a dyke.”
“You’re a queer.”
They’re catch-cries in Irish schools, and far too tolerated. Homophobic bullying and the relentless onslaught of anti-gay language can wreck children’s lives and rob them of their youth. Young gay people are five times more likely to be medicated for depression, two and a half times more likely to self-harm, and at least three times more likely to attempt suicide. All the evidence points to bigotry and bullying as the cause.
The fantastic organisation BeLonGTo, which has done so much to provide a safe space for young gay people and has contributed massively to the gradual erosion of anti-gay hate, has launched a really simple initiative with restaurants called Bullying Bites. This month, Bullying Bites will ask customers to add €1 to their bill, helping BeLongTo bring hope to vulnerable young people in Irish schools. The initiative is supported by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn and President of Ireland Michael D. Higgings.
It’s a simple enough idea. Stand Up! is about making homophobic bullying and transphobic bullying everyone’s issue and encouraging everyone – gay and straight alike – to take a stand against it. As part of the campaign secondary schools and youth organisations throughout Ireland are issued with Stand Up! packs which include background information on homophobic bullying and transphobic bullying for teachers, an educational DVD, fun and interesting learning activities for students and posters. Funds from Bullying Bites will go to directly support this urgent campaign.
Many restaurants have already signed up for Bullying Bites, including Eastwood and May’s , Skinflint, San Lorenzo, and The Village at Lyons. The Bullying Bites website has the full list, as well as contact details for restaurants that would like to sign up.