Abi O’Callaghan-Platt is one of the core members of BROD. She is an environmental scientist who was raised in West Cork and returned five years ago to raise her two children here.
While lockdown prevents many of us from connecting with our community it can also offer new opportunities to people living in remote areas. Those of us living in the wilds of West Cork can struggle to access activities offered by city-based lgbt+ groups in normal times, and so the move to online activities forced by the pandemic is a positive for many!
Whatever your age, gender or sexual orientation there are online events to suit. They are all open to newcomers and are used to people coming along for the first time.
Linc provides support services for lesbian and bisexual women. They have a range of meet ups, with one on almost every evening, as well as offering support services.
Yoga – This beginner friendly yoga class is on Monday evenings at 7pm.
Drama – LINC drama is on Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm. This is the perfect group to join if you want good craic and to make new friends! Open to all, even those who don’t want to perform! You can choose to take part in the annual sold-out play or to just enjoy being there for the writing and the laughs during the year.
German classes – German classes are on Wednesdays from 6-7pm. Get in touch to find out the next start date for beginners!
Book club – The book club is on the first Friday of every month at 7pm. Join the facebook page to find out what the next book is and get the zoom links for the meet-ups. The book for March is ‘Black Wave’ by Michelle Tea, and the book for April is ‘Are You My Mother?’ by Alison Bechdel!
LINC In – Linc has drop-in zoom calls on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 1.30 to 2.30pm, Thursday evening from 7-8pm and on Saturday afternoons from 2.30-3.30pm. Join for a chat and to get to know others in the community!
See: www.facebook.com/LINCcork for more details and zoom links
The Gay Project supports gay, bi+, trans and queer men and offers a massive variety of groups to join!
Yoga – Yoga for men is held on Mondays at 7.30pm. All variations of poses are offered for all levels.
‘Out of Your Mind’ Meditation Club – Meditation is held on Tuesday mornings.
Queer Vibes Café – Queer Vibes is a Social Space, which meets every Wednesday at 7pm on zoom. This is a friendly group who are always up for a laugh and very welcoming to new people.
Gold – GOLD coffee morning is an opportunity for older gay men (55+) to meet, socialise and chat with other guys of a similar age. It is held at 12 on Fridays on zoom.
OUT-LIT LGBT Book Club – An LGBT+ book club that usually meets monthly, on the third Saturday of the month at 3.30pm, to discuss our chosen book for the month. New members are always welcome.
Black Rainbow LGBT Writers Club – We would like aspiring gay authors to join the Black Rainbow Group, where we aim to put together a single book of gay-themed short stories, set in Ireland, each no longer than 3000 words.
See: gayproject.ie for more details.
Youghal LGBT+ Network
Teatime Sessions – Join the Teatime Sessions for a cuppa and a chat every Friday at 4pm! This group is hosted by Youghal LGBT+ Network and Seeding the County 2021, which aims to build LGBT+ networks across Cork County.
Email email@example.com for your zoom link.
Bi+ Ireland aims to create a space where bi+ people can make friends, access peer support and reduce any isolation they may experience. They have a couple of events coming up in March.
Bi conversations – This event is on Saturday 13th March at 5pm and invites people to join them for an open discussion of bi+ topics such as Bi+ representation in the media and bi+ erasure.
Bi+ Ireland Book Club – This non-traditional book club has its next meets on the first Saturday of each month at 8pm. Each month members talk about the various things they have read that month and discuss whatever their reading habits happen to be: non-fiction, fiction, YA, Autistic books, fanfics, etc. Bi+ Ireland says “We all get to widen our literary knowledge by hearing what others are reading”.
Gender Rebels Cork
The Gender Rebels peer support group is on the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm. It is open to anyone over 18 of a gender minority. They will never ask what gender you are, so even if you are still questioning who you are, you are welcome to join.
Gender Rebels say, “We open with a round of introductions. With people giving their names and pronouns. This is a great way to try out a name or pronoun in a safe and understanding environment. The host will ask people how they have been since last we met. Topics discussed can be about our gender identity or whatever is on your mind. What topics we cover are based on what people want to talk about. Sometimes all we talk about is films and TV shows we like. Other times someone might ask about transition like how to legally change their name and people reply with how they did it. We end with what everyone got from the meeting and say our goodbyes until the next time.”
TENI – Transgender Equality Network Ireland
TransParenCI is a free support group for parents and family members of transgender children and adults. The group is facilitated by experienced parents of transgender children and meets monthly for two hours. The group is currently meeting online via zoom. For more information or to join the group please contact TENI by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetups for young people:
BeLonG To is the national organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people. Their online youth group is open to any LGBTI+ young person between 14-23 years.
They say ‘This group is a safe space where you can get the chance to meet people, chat, have fun, and learn a little about gender and sexuality. You don’t have to label yourself when you come to our groups, so if you are questioning your sexuality or gender identity, you can come along and just be yourself, without any pressure’.
UP Cork LGBT+ Youth Group
UP Cork is an LGBT+ Youth Group is organised in partnership with Youth Work Ireland Cork. The group welcomes members aged 15-24 and is on Tuesday evenings at 6pm.
TENI – Transgender Equality Network Ireland
Transformers is a free peer support group for transgender young people whose parents attend TransParenCI. The group is facilitated by a professional counsellor and meets monthly for two hours. The group is currently meeting online via zoom. For more information or to join the group please contact TENI by email: email@example.com