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- PublicationA Qualitative Study of LGBTQI+ Youth Homelessness in IrelandThis report on the experiences of LGBTQI+ young people who find themselves without a home emerges from an exploration of the causes and solutions to youth homelessness which Focus Ireland has been engaged with for over 30 years. An important dimension of that work has been our engagement with researchers and activists across the world. Around 5 years ago, during a seminar at which we had invited Professor Steven Gaetz and Melanie Redman to talk to us about the Canadian ‘A Way Home’ youth homeless strategy, one of the slides included a statement that – ‘if you are not looking at LGBTQ homelessness you are not dealing with the causes of youth homelessness.’ An intern with the Advocacy team asked what was known about the issue in Ireland. This report can be traced back to the fact that the answer to that question was ‘nothing at all’.
- PublicationComplex Contexts: Women's Community Education in IrelandEducation is not a neutral process, it can be used to establish and maintain conformity or be part of a process of liberation and social change (Freire, 1979; hooks, 1994). The Irish State’s failure to acknowledge this lack of neutrality has characterised the formal education system in Ireland since its inception. From the introduction of the National School System of education in 1831 to the present day, the ruling force of the Catholic Church within education is evidenced in the gendered and conformist nature of this formal education landscape. Systems of privilege have been maintained and reproduced through education, in which power is exercised by means of exclusion, coercion and control. However, simultaneously individuals and groups of women have challenged this formal, religiously infused conformist education system. Their demands for full and equal access to mainstream education at all levels, including within the academy, served to challenge this hegemonic force. They also pioneered the development of innovative and radical forms of adult and community education as a means toward individual and community empowerment. This paper seeks to highlight women’s educational interventions historically and socially through an explicit gendered lens and with a particular focus on community-higher-education.
- PublicationEditorialThe genesis of this Special Edition of Irish Educational Studies ‘Queer Teaching – Teaching Queer’ lies in a symposium held at the 2014 ECER Conference in Porto, Portugal. Entitled ‘Negotiating Heteronormative School Contexts’ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Issues in Education’, the symposium drew upon innovative scholarship from Ireland, Spain, Germany and Sweden. Subsequent informal discussions between the Chair of that symposium, Declan Fahie, and the Discussant, Renée De Palma Ungaro, tentatively broached the idea of a book or special edition of a journal which could explore these themes further. An obvious collaborator in the form of Aideen Quilty from UCD helped bring this idea to fruition with the immediate and enthusiastic support from the Editorial Board of Irish Educational Studies.
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- PublicationUnreal, unsheltered, unseen, unrecorded: The multiple invisibilities of LGBTQI+ homeless youthThere is significant research evidence which demonstrates that LGBTQI+ young people experience higher rates of homelessness than their straight and cis peers. However, estimates of the scale of their over representation in homelessness vary significantly. This partially reflects difficulties in identifying and researching LGBTQI+ homeless youth due to their invisibility within homeless services. Drawing on in-depth interviews with homeless LGBTQI+ youth in Dublin and other Irish cities and with policy makers, homeless service providers and advocacy group representatives, this article reflects on the causes and implications of this invisibility. As its title suggests, the article identifies four interrelated causes of the invisibility – the unreal, unsheltered, unseen and unrecorded nature of LGBTQI+ youth homelessness. The article examines how these factors individually and collectively perpetuate the invisibility of LGBTQI+ homeless youth, impede their access to services for homeless people and reduce the likelihood that homeless services will be tailored to meet their needs and enable them to successfully exit homelessness.
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