Last week the Rainbow Project attended Newry Rainbow Community’s Sing Out Against Homophobia and Transphobia event to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The event was also used to promote counselling services in the area.  Before the singing got under way Dean Lee one of the Rainbow Project’s two full time Co Cultural, peripetetic Counsellors addressed the Mayor of Newry, Newry Rainbow Community members, singers and other local people;

Today is about letting people in Newry and surrounding areas know that ‘homophobia is not a joke’ and ‘homophobia is a choice’.  Much of the same could be said of counselling and in many ways the prevalence of homophobia and heterosexism in society is what leads a lot of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the counselling room. People not only experience  abuse, rejection, hatred and exclusion about being lgbt but they also fear it and this can lead to a greater instance of depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, stress and low self- esteem than in other sections of society.  Counselling really does help to address these complex and often very individual issues…ultimately counselling is about facilitating people feeling more at one with themselves and allowing space for an individual’s true spirit to sing.

Gay and bisexual men or men who are unsure of their sexual orientation from all over Northern Ireland have been accessing the Rainbow Project’s professional Counselling service for over five years from our bases in Belfast and Foyle.  The partnership with Newry Rainbow Community and Protect Life centres offers men from the Southern Trust area an opportunity to access counselling in Newry town and other local venues if preferred.  To access the service from any of our locations please contact 028 90319030, email counselling@rainbow-project.org  or visit our microsite  www.rainbow-project.org/counselling

(We also facilitate appropriate referrals to other services for women and transgender people)

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