Donegal GAA Player Éamon McGee spoke at the launch of a national campaign to decrease homophobic bullying for LGBT students, saying it’s sad that nobody he has played with has come out in the GAA.
All-Ireland GAA star Éamon McGee spoke at the HSE’s launch of a campaign to reduce homophobic bullying in schools by raising teachers’ knowledge surrounding the issue as well as their efficiency responding to it, reports the Independent.
McGee indicated that although statistically there should be LGBT members who play GAA, he hasn’t played with anyone who has come out. He suggests it’s because in the GAA they have not “created an atmosphere where people can be true to themselves.”
“I played with hundreds of different players through club, college, county, province – and the statistics will say that there has to be some of them who are part of the LGBT community and no-one I’ve played with has come out and that is a sad indictment of the GAA and a sad indictment on us”, says Éamon.
The HSE campaign called The LGBT Safe and Supportive Schools Project was delivered by BeLonG To, the Dublin based community for young LGBT members in Ireland. Two schools in Donegal received the program which aims to raise awareness in students as well as teachers, and enkindle in them support for LGBT members of their class.
The Executive Director of BeLonG To, Moninne Griffin, said that “many children first begin to realise that they are LGBT from an early age and these formative years can have a huge impact on their sense of self and future mental health as adults.”
Since school can be an insular experience, striving to make it enjoyable for as many students as possible is a worthwhile endeavour. With the legalisation of same-sex marriage last year, instances of homophobic bullying should see a decline. Initiatives like The LGBT Safe and Supportive Schools Project will help expedite the process and contribute to a more conscientious school system.