Members of a prominent Derry youth group have written a song called ‘Free to be Me’ to coincide with International Coming Out Day on Thursday.
Young members of The Foyle Rainbow Project and BreakOUT Letterkenny groups joined forces to create the ‘I’m Coming Out’ project to raise awareness.
They have also organised a special family fun/ LGBT friendly day at the Derry Craft Village from 12-4pm on Saturday, October 11. The fun day includes free Rainbow face paints, free food, free balloons, open mic performers, music, children’s activities including life-size board-games and art workshops, with spot prizes and a CD launch of the ‘Free to be me’ track featuring local artists.
In a survey carried out by the Rainbow Project last year, it was found that on average young gay people in Northern Ireland became aware of their sexuality from the age of 14, while the average coming out age was 21.
The ‘Through Our Minds’ study found that young people were most likely to be open to their friends, with 75% saying their friends were aware of their sexuality, while 63% said their family knew they were gay
The ‘I’m Coming Out’ project co-ordinator, Michelle Nolan said the aim was to reach out to isolated young people across the North.
She added: “Coming out to their family and friends can be one of the most difficult decisions for young gay people in Northern Ireland. This family fun day is a celebration of the LGBT community and a message to young isolated gay people that they are not alone.”