In light of the alarming rise of homophobic hate crimes, especially over the last week here in Ireland, we wanted to check in and also advise people to be extra vigilant at this time.
We know this is a distressing and stressful time for the community, especially for our community members in Dublin & Sligo. Please reach out for any support you may need, and look out for each other.
Support is available from the following places:
LGBT Ireland on 1800 929 539 or online at https://lgbt.ie/
The Switchboard on 01 8721055 or online at https://www.theswitchboard.ie/
TENI & LGBT Ireland on 01 907 3707 or online at https://www.teni.ie/
Please consider some of the advice shared by the Gardaí, which was developed by the MPOWER programme at HIV Ireland for keeping safe when using hook-up apps. You can read more about it here https://mpower.hivireland.ie/staying-safe-hook-up-apps/
Gardaí advise that you get a picture of the person's face from the person you intend to meet. Be cautious of a person who does not share a recent face picture with you, particularly after you have shared yours.
If the person does not want to share a picture, Gardaí suggest asking them to go on a live video call. Many apps have this option built-in, so a mobile number does not have to be shared to do this.
Gardaí also suggest that you ask for their social media handles. "Do you have friends in common on Instagram or Facebook? Be wary of new accounts with low follower count and few posts."
It is advised that you let friends know where you are going. You should send a text to a trusted friend or in a group chat, including your live location so you can be found if you need help.
Meet in a public place first. Take a few minutes to chat and feel confident you want to proceed before going somewhere private.
Gardaí also suggest that you think before accepting food or drink. Unless you have seen the person prepare it, they said it is best not to accept it to avoid being spiked.
If an emergency unfolds, call 999.
The Progress Pride Flag
The original red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet stripes, devised by Gilbert Baker.
On the left side, black, brown, blue, pink, and white stripes have been added in a triangle to represent LGBTQ+ people of colour, and the trans community.