‘Let’s Talk Gender Identity’ launched at St Columb’s

GENDER IDENTITY. . . . The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle pictured at the launch of the ��Let�"s Talk Gender Identity�" event at St. Columb�"s Park House, Derry on Thursday morning last. Included from left, Nat Creighton, Rainbow, Darragh Graham, SCPH (Peace in the Park), Paul Brennan, Ren McGuicken, Nuala Devenny, Rainbow, Caitriona Doherty, DCSDC and Sharon Doherty, SCPH.
GENDER IDENTITY. . . . The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle pictured at the launch of the ��Let�"s Talk Gender Identity�" event at St. Columb�"s Park House, Derry on Thursday morning last. Included from left, Nat Creighton, Rainbow, Darragh Graham, SCPH (Peace in the Park), Paul Brennan, Ren McGuicken, Nuala Devenny, Rainbow, Caitriona Doherty, DCSDC and Sharon Doherty, SCPH.

Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle was at St Columb’s Park House recently to officially launch the PEACE IV-funded project ‘Let’s Talk Gender Identity’ attended by members of Park Youth, National Citizen Service and staff from the Rainbow Project.

The unique and exciting new programme uses creativity to help young people aged between 12-24 explore and understand gender identity and sexual orientation and how it relates to themselves and the world around them.

Based in the North West, the programme will be facilitated by The Rainbow Project and will include informative workshops, art projects, fun activities and an adventure day trip. The PEACE IV EU funded programme is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with match-funding from The Executive Office NI.

Participants on the cross-community programme will have the opportunity to develop good relations, meet new people, make new friends, create a personal and unique creative piece that will be on display to friends and family at the final showcase, and have a lot of fun.

The main aims are to help young people, brought together from different communities, understand how gender roles and stereotyping may influence their sense of selves and life choices, while also discussing LGBTQ issues and the ways to combat some of the adverse effects of sticking to rigid ideas of gender. The half-day event was a preview of the full workshop programme which will commence in the coming weeks.

Speaking after the launch, Nat Creighton from The Rainbow Project who is joint facilitator on the project said: “I was delighted with the success of today’s launch of the PEACE IV-funded ‘Let’s Talk Gender Identity’ project.

“It gave us an opportunity to road test some of our workshop ideas with a group of young people from NCS and Park Youth, who were very generous in giving their feedback at the end. ‘Let’s Talk Gender Identity’ is a completely unique project that aims to help young people understand how gender roles and stereotyping may influence their sense of selves and their life choices, and discusses a wide range of topics including LGBT issues and tools for combatting the negative effects rigid ideas around gender. We are excited to roll out our full 26 hour programme which will continue to January 2020 and we encourage youth groups and young people from across all communities and identities in the North West area to sign up.”

Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said the project offered a forum for positive discussion around gender issues. “This project is a wonderful way for young people to come together and discuss how sexual orientation and gender identity affects them and the barriers and societal issues that exist around these issues,” she said.

The full programme will commence next month and will be available for booking until January 2020. The programme is open to young people between 12-24 years of age. If you are interested in booking the programme, please contact foyleadmin@rainbow-project.org or (028)71283030. Visit rainbow-project.org/lets-talk-gender