LGBTQ+ Supports

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North Monastery Co-educational Secondary School are teaming up Belong To to achieve the LGBTQ+ QMark.

  • Since September 2022, we embarked on a journey to create a welcoming and secure environment for LGBTQ+ students, staff, and our broader community. With assistance from Belong To and our school community, our goal is to encourage and nurture greater inclusivity regarding LGBTQI+ issues within both our school and the larger community. In November 2023, Belong To will visit our school to assess our progress in fostering this inclusive community, with the objective of obtaining the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark in the coming months.
  • The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark is a program designed to endorse and certify LGBTQ+ Safe and Supportive Schools.
  • In Ireland, a troubling 73% of LGBTQ+ young individuals have reported feeling unsafe at school. Nevertheless, research indicates that effective school-based initiatives can significantly enhance the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ students.

IRIS Allies Support Group

What is an LGBTQ+ ally? 

An LGBTQ+ ally is a person who supports and advocates for the rights, well-being, and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. These allies are typically individuals who may not identify as LGBTQ+ themselves but are committed to promoting inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding of LGBTQ+ people in society.

What is the Iris Allies?

The LGBTQ+ support group at North Monastery Co-educational Secondary School goes by the name of IRIS Allies. Comprising both students and staff, we convene every Tuesday at 1.05pm for a range of activities, discussions, treats, and more. This safe and inclusive environment is open to all members of our school community, providing a welcoming space where individuals can freely express themselves and receive support. Here, our Allies and LGBTQ+ community members can come together to relax, converse, and interact with one another. We call ourselves the IRIS Allies because from the word for rainbow in Latin is IRIS.

  • Location: School Library
  • Time: 1.05pm
  • Day: Every Tuesday

Iris Allies Support Group 

Remember if you need to ask questions, need support or just need to talk you can approach any member of our school staff or members of our IRIS Allies support group.

  • Ms. C. Dunlea
  • Mr. J. Barry
  • Ms. M. de Barra
  • Ms. A. Collins
  • Mr. K. Ruby (HSCL)
  • Ms. S. Collins
  • Mr. Scanlon
  • Mr. Brennan

Stand Up Awareness Week 2023

Stand Up Awareness Week 2023 is scheduled to run from Monday, November 6th to Friday, November 10th. The central theme for this year is centred on the ideas of friendship and allyship. This designated week offers a valuable opportunity to take proactive measures in creating safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ youth. According to a national survey conducted by BelongTo, one out of every five young LGBTQ+ individuals encounters bullying, and an alarming 76% of LGBTQ+ students report feeling unsafe in their school environments. By joining forces, we can forge spaces where LGBTQ+ youth can experience safety, equality, and a sense of value.

Over the past year, our concerted efforts have been dedicated to the establishment of a support network comprising both students and staff. We’ve successfully implemented our IRIS Allies group, convening every Tuesday, conducted essential staff training, launched student awareness initiatives, and introduced an online reporting platform, among other strategic initiatives. Stay tuned as we continue to actively support our community.

Join us for various activities in the coming days and weeks…

Stand Up for Your LGBTQ+ Friends

Activities for the Week:

Monday Word of the Day Quiz and Activities (All Year Groups – during English classes)

LGBTQ Timeline (to be completed by TYs)

LCA Horticulture

Tuesday Talk and Discussion – Library from 12pm (Student Council/Senior Cycle)

IRIS Allies Meeting – Library at 1pm

Wednesday Mindfulness Colouring – 1st Years during Period 1

Design A Badge Competition – Junior Cycle

LCA Baking

Thursday LGBTQ+ Historic Talk (Student Council/Senior Cycle)

LBGTQ+ Historic Exhibition from 11AM (Junior Cycle/TY/Senior Cycle)

LCA Baking

Friday Word of the Day Quiz

Cupcakes for Junior Cycle

Cake for Senior Students/Staff

Pride Film: TY

Wednesday (November 15) Inclusive Training for Staff
Tuesday (November 21) Youth Sexual Health Services Talk from 12pm (Senior Cycle)

Local and National LGBTQ+ Supports

Cork Gay Project – Sawmill St, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 CX32

T 021 430 0430 / 087 1646 072

We provide information, support and resources for the gay, bi, queer and trans community. From our community centre in Cork we provide a range of resources including free condoms and lube, LGBT books, magazines and DVDs, LGBT and general health leaflets – we also provide support by phone and email. The centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 – 3pm for resources and info and every evening for events.

LINC – 11a While Street, Cork City

LINC is a resource centre in Cork city for Lesbian and bisexual women. We run a full programme of activities and have other supports based in the centre such as an alcohol and drugs support group. Monday to Wednesday 11am to 3pm and Thurs 11am to 8pmT 021 – 480 8600

Gender Rebels

T 087 366 9055

Gender Rebels Cork is a group based in Cork City which advocates for and supports all transgender, non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming individuals.

BelongTo Youth Service – Parliament House, 13 Parliament Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

T 01 670 6223

BeLonG To is an organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people, aged between 14 and 23.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) – Unit 2, 4 Ellis Quay, Dublin 7

T 01- 873 3575

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) is a non-profit organisation supporting the transgender community in Ireland in all its variety.

Bi+ Ireland

​Bi+ Ireland aims to create a space where bi+ people can make friends, access peer support and reduce any isolation they may experience. We aim to increase the visibility and presence of bi+ people in Ireland and to create diverse, vibrant and welcoming communities.

UP Cork Gurranebraher & Churchfield Youth & Community Resource Centre – Gurranebraher Rd, Gurranebraher, Cork

T 086 044 3745

UP Cork is a youth project for LGBTQ young people aged 15-24 years. Meets twice weekly.

Terminology A-Z

LGBTI+ terminology can feel like a minefield when you have no previous knowledge, and terms change over time. We have put together a glossary of common words to get you started. Please remember that the best way to determine someone’s preferred identity or pronoun is to simply ask them.

  • LGBTI+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans+ and intersex people.
  • Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women. Some non-binary people may also identify with this term.
  • Gay: Someone who is attracted to people of the same gender.
  • Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to more than one gender e.g. both men and women.
  • Pansexual: Someone whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex assignment, gender identity or gender expression.
  • Queer: An umbrella term used to describe people who are not heterosexual and/or cisgender. Queer was used as a slur against the LGBTQ+ community for many years and still can be. However, the word has been reclaimed by LGBTQ+ communities and many now embrace the term. Check if someone is comfortable with this term before referring to them as queer.
  • Asexual/Ace: Someone who experiences limited or no sexual attraction.
  • Transgender: A term describing a person’s gender identity that does not match their assigned sex at birth. This word is also used as an umbrella term to describe some groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression.
  • Intersex: This is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations that do not fit typical binary notions of male and female bodies, for example, variations in genetic, hormonal, or physical sex characteristics.
  • Sexual Orientation: Sexual and romantic attraction.
  • Gender identity:  Our deeply felt internal experience of our own gender.
  • Heterosexual: Someone who is attracted to people of a different gender.
  • LGBTQ+ bullying:  Bullying based on prejudice or discrimination towards LGBTI+ people.
  • Gender expression: How we show our gender through our clothing, hair, behaviour, etc.
  • Cisgender:  Someone who is not transgender or non-binary. 
  • Non-binary: People whose gender identity is neither exclusively woman or man or is in between or beyond the gender binary.