Monday 20 May 2019

Tanaiste didn't know term LGBT

It was a moment of great irony to see Tanaiste Mary Coughlan's photograph at the launch of the 'Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Workplace Diversity Guide' (Irish Independent, March 25).

I will never forget a brief encounter I had with her last September at Societies' Day in Devere Hall in University College Cork (UCC).

Ms Coughlan was making a guest appearance for the Fianna Fail society and, on stopping at our LGBT society's stand, we had to explain to her what the letters LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) stood for.

In what I thought was an attempt to conceal her embarrassment, she proceeded to speak to our committee in a tone filled with condescension, which culminated in her remarking that we were only students and had no reason to be worried about things such as 'marriage' for many years to come.

I understand that many people do not know what the letters 'LGBT' stand for but, in her position, I believe it is her duty to be informed on these issues. I am glad to see that she is educating herself by attending such things as the above launch. However, I remain sceptical.

Laura Harmon
LGBT Campaigns and Human Rights Officer, UCC

Irish Independent

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