• People celebrate the landslide victory of a 'Yes' vote after a 2015 referendum on same sex marriage in Ireland. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Research in Ireland has shown an 'enormous surge' of young LGBT coming out since last year's public vote on same-sex marriage.
By
Drew Sheldrick

23 May 2016 - 10:56 AM  UPDATED 23 May 2016 - 10:56 AM

A year since Ireland voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage in a public referendum, new research shows the amount of young people coming out has surged.

A survey of 1,300 people aged 14-24 found 39 per cent of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) had come out in the one year following the successful vote. A total of 53 per cent said they knew of someone who had come out since the referendum.

The research was conducted by Ireland's national organisation for LGBT young people, BeLong To.

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Children and Youth Affairs Minister Katherine Zappone's said she believes the referendum helped both young LGBT people and wider society to accept them.

"We would have hoped the passing of the referendum would ultimately be a great beacon of hope for young people. It's great to see some evidence that that is, in fact, actually what's happening," Zappone told the Irish Independent.

"It helped parents and grandparents to provide more support and talk and about it with ease. I can't say how many parents who have come up to me in the last year to tell me how much of a difference it's made in their children's lives."

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Despite the surge of young people being open about their sexuality or gender identity, the survey found some 56 per cent still thought that homophobic or transphobic bullying had not stopped since the referendum. Fifty-five per cent of LGBT young people also said their daily life hasn’t changed much since the vote, with 35 per cent indicating that the result positively affected LGBT adults, but not them.

On May 22, 2015, 62 per cent of those who took part in the Irish referendum voted 'yes' to allow same-sex couples the right to marry, making it the first country to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote. Ireland's Gay and Lesbian Equality Network says 412 same-sex couples have married in the 12 months since.