When I began this project towards the beginning of lockdown, I never could have imagined raising this amount for two incredibly worthy charities supporting LGBTQ+ young people and adults in their times of need. If not for the generosity of friends, colleagues and followers of the project online we would not have reached this point, so thank you. All funds have now been donated evenly, totaling €430 to both charities involved and on behalf of them I thank you for making it happen. I’m also delighted to say that my current employer, the Central Bank of Ireland and their charity committee has so generously agreed to match these funds, doubling the total raised.
Listen to this post –
This is quite a poignant moment for me, as a young closeted gay kid I would never have imagined future me being so exposed and so vulnerable in order to make a real difference to a cause so close to my heart. Having attended the Personal Development course and availed of the free services Outhouse provides in 2019, like so many people, I changed as a person and felt indebted, and needed to find some way to repay these amazing people. I learned something important in the past year, to achieve something new, you have to do something you have never done. To grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone for this is where the sunlight hits and nourishes most of all. We all have dreams, ideas and things we want to achieve (if you don’t know what that is right now, that’s okay too). Let this be a reminder to me and a calling to you, if you want to do something, just do it. Don’t let the inner self deter you from following your gut instinct, that is where the magic of life lies. I write this as a lesson but also as a reminder to myself, we are all so much more capable than we truly believe or as others may see us. There are many influences in our lives and people who care about us, yes we should open our eyes to their lessons, guidance and love but at all times remember the only person who has to be proud of you, is yourself.
If you, like me seek external validation for your achievements, talents or ideas – know that we are fighting a losing battle. Acknowledge peoples praise and accept constructive criticism but most of all make yourself proud. Do your best in all that you do without letting perfection overrule, start the journey now as all we have is this moment. Failures are real, mistakes happen but when you try to do something new or take a chance on your gut and it goes wrong, life will only lead you to that next place – the place you were supposed to visit to be a better you.
I launched ‘Just Sing’, not knowing if I’d make any impact or if I’d even follow through. Knowing now what has been achieved, the pain, the struggle, the heartache, the fear…it was all worth while. Over 8 weeks or so, the project has gained over 15,000 unique views – something which as a no one from kildare, im very proud of. Having recorded ‘He used to be mine’ in Avondale studios before any of us knew what a pandemic really was, as the days turned to hours, weeks and months, left with the material, the message became clearer and clearer. I’ve been creating and editing videos for almost 3 years and performing all my life but I have never been involved in something that was so incredibly emotional to finish. I have been touched by the messages of support and the overwhelming emotions that have been felt by so many. When we are at our most vulnerable is when we are also the most seen, truly seen for who and what we are in every sense of the word.
The project reached a natural pause and i’m now planning a live streamed concert, to celebrate the year and the achievement. I intend to take a break to explore more of me as an artist and also to work on other projects like my new podcast Queer Revelations and some radio work too. I am continuing with music, writing, presenting and exploring. Just Sing will return in the future, what form I’m not sure but I’m excited to see what’s next. Thank you for following and supporting me on this journey.
Stay safe and Be Kind, especially to yourself.
Find out more about these amazing charities:
Outhouse is a community and resource centre for LGBTQ+ people, their families, and friends whose primary goal is to offer a safe space for people to inform, meet, organise and make things happen. Outhouse is very often the first point of contact for people into the LGBTQ+ World and the place in which lots of groups and organisations begun.
Since doors opened in 1997, the focus was on providing information, a safe drop-in space, a welcoming Café, library as well as meeting spaces and support facilities for individuals and groups. Outhouse also plays host to the respected and highly recommended Personal Development Courses, which is provided free of charge. Whatever the type of support, be it entirely social or sport, or be it around coming out, ageing or alcohol, the staff, Board and volunteers have always seen that the role of Outhouse is to provide space for the community to develop and flourish. Find out more about their amazing work at www.outhouse.ie
BeLonG To Youth Services is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland. Since 2003, they have worked with LGBTI+ young people, between 14 and 23 years, to create a world where they are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences. BeLonG To also advocates and campaigns on behalf of young LGBTI+ people, and offers a specialised LGBTI+ youth service with a focus on mental and sexual health, alongside drug and alcohol support.
BeLonG To responds to the needs of LGBTI+ young people in Ireland and helps them thrive. BeLonG To’s vision is a world where LGBTI+ young people are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences. Their mission is to support LGBTI+ young people as equals to achieve our vision through youth work, changing attitudes, and research. BeLonG To are continuing to provide services online and virtually including (but not limited to) the Monday Chats Service and crisis counselling service run in partnership with Pieta House.
If you need support during this period, please reach out and talk, there are so many support services and helplines available to you. Find out more about BeLonG To’s their amazing work at www.belongto.org.