Activists, The State & Inequality Part 2 Jo Keely

Photo credit: Jo Keely

In this issue I speak to a fellow TUstudent Jo Keely (Pronouns: THEY/THEM) who is Involved in the TUD City campus LGBTQ+ society and they are studying music in the BIMM campus. They gave me their opinion on what Its like to be part of the community and what they think can be done to improve the lives of Queer people in Ireland. 

‘’I don’t personally feel the government is doing enough for the LGBTQ+ community. There’s so much that can be done in the different departments of the Government to help create that equality we deserve. A lot of where I come from would be educational. I believe that there should be more awareness like introducing LGBTQ+ sex education between same-sex couple in the sciences that are taught in such as biology in second level education so the chances of sexual health improvement in the community would be more likely. I also believe that as part of SPHE ( Social, Personal and Health Education) curriculum there could be more awareness about the LGBTQ+ community in terms so that people can learn about themselves whilst they are exploring but maybe too afraid to ask questions, this would in turn may help improve mental health in the community while also helping to decrease the amount of people who may make offensive comments based on ignorance of the Queer community and its culture.

I think some people do and don’t know about Queer issues such as Trans healthcare accessibility, Sexual health treatment such as PeP (Post exposure prophylaxis is a drug taken by someone who believes they have been exposed to the virus HIV to prevent exposure, For the drug to be a success it must be taken by the person within 72hours after a suspected exposure) and PrEp (Pre Exposure prophylaxis is a drug taken by someone who would be at a very high infection risk to HIV. It is a drug taken daily to build a resistance and to prevent the chance of becoming infection by HIV) and Hate crimes facing LGBTQ+ people but they choose to ignore it.  

There are some amazing strong people who are out there in organizations or even solo who are aware and fight for what is right. However, society at large does not have enough awareness and it is completely evident. Only for the fact I moved to Dublin I would have never gotten full exposure to the education I needed to understand what I do or even to be more aware of the issues that face the community. I have honestly never thought about if I am an activist. I just love to help. The dictionary defines an activist is “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue” So I guess I am but I feel bad saying that because I see people who truly are activists putting more time and hard work into their beliefs than I ever could dream of. I do try but I never feel it’s never quite enough’’.  

Being a Queer person in Ireland even at the best of times is hard, we as a community are continuously changing to deal with social issues and trying to find solutions. We are a brave community who looks out for each other no matter if you’re an activist or not. Jo Keely exemplifies the kind of person we should all be because all they do for the community is for the community, not for their own personal gain. 

The word Queer is an umbrella term used by members of the LGBTQ+ community to describe themselves and other members of the community


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