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Stand Up Week

Stand Up Week

11th November - 15th November

We are proudly celebrating Stand Up Awareness Week this week in the College, a week to reach out to our LGBTI+ community and show them that they are equally valued, respected and supported.

On Monday, at Whole School Assembly our Headmaster, Mr Foley talked about the importance of inclusion and the language we use. Adam O'Donoghue (RS) spoke to welcome Maria Walsh MEP and thank everyone who had helped with Stand Up Week and Belvo Pride Soc., a student LGBTI+ straight alliance group. He read an excerpt from a letter he received from Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar who said he was 'heartened to hear what you are doing to heighten awareness of mental health issues during Stand Up Week at Belvedere College'.

We were delighted to have Maria Walsh MEP with us to launch our Stand Up Week and raise the rainbow flag. Maria spoke about how her sexuality is a only a small part of her, but how important it is that young people should feel comfortable and safe to bring their whole selves to school. 

At lunchtime we had a wonderful talk from Fr James Martin SJ, author of Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. Fr James spoke to a packed Lecture Theatre via Skype in a live link from the US about his Ministry with the LGBTI+ community and his recent meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

 

Fr James said he was delighted to hear that we were flying the flag in Belvedere, that it was a symbol of reaching out to people which is exactly what Jesus wants us to do. He expanded that Jesuit education is about reaching out to people in the margins and that the LGBT community are among the most marginalised groups of people. He commended the College for 'the wonderful work you are doing to make LGBTI+ people feel welcome at Belvedere which helps them feel welcome in their church.' The audience, including students, staff, Jesuit scholastics and the Rector found it an uplifting, hopeful and entertaining talk.

On Tuesday, Ms McArdle was delighted to be reunited with her past pupil, Rugby International, Hannah Tyrrell. Hannah spoke about her impressive sporting achievements before detailing her mental health difficulties as a teenager. The audience were very moved by her honest account and were heartened to hear that life for Hannah improved significantly when she learned compassion for and acceptance of herself including her sexuality.

We are looking forward to welcoming Past Pupil Ishan Banik (OB 2019) tomorrow and GAA referee David Gough on Friday to continue our celebration of Stand Up Awareness Week 2019.

 

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