Recent Updates

UPDATE ON THE NORTHWEST! JUNE 2013 Dear women...we've been experiencing a few set-backs up here in the Northwest, but fret not, we will be back with regular monthly meetings as soon as possible! We are now back online, so if you want to get in touch before the meetings start again (or after that, even!) do email us on firstoutnorthwest@gmail.com and we'll reply. We can also keep you informed of any social events happening in the region, or other LGBT groups that may be of interest to you. As soon as we have a start-up date for the monthly meetings we'll post it on this page, so do please come back and check. Take it easy, women :-)

When meetings restart, the dates for the rest of 2013 are: 1st August, 5th September, 3rd October, 7th November and 5th December.

First Out meetings in October will happen at Outhouse and North Leitrim Women's Centre at 7.30 on Thursday 4th. The meetings are open to all women questioning same sex feelings or attractions or coming out. The women attending the support groups are at many different stages in their lives. Some are married, some have children, some have only ever been in relationships with men, some have been dating women for years but have not been able to come out to friends and loved ones. Wherever you are in your journey please come along and join us!

If you are looking for ways to meet people in the LGBTQ womens community in Dublin Running Amach is the first place you should look: http://www.meetup.com/Dublin-LGBTQ-Womens-Social-Networking-Club There are a range of events to suit every taste and many events have a meet and greet for new participants.

FAQ

Where do First Out meetings take place?

The Dublin First Out meetings take place in Outhouse on the top end of Capel Street (the opposite end to Parliament Street Bridge). Walking up from Parliament Street Bridge, you'll pass Slattery's Pub on your left hand side. Outhouse is on the same side another few minutes walk up the street (See our Home page for a map). Outhouse is a resource and community centre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities in Dublin. Outhouse has come about through the efforts of people who have been working since 1994 to provide a focal point for our communities.

First out Northwest meets in the Clubs and Societies Meeting Room at Sligo IT Student’s Union (1st building on right from main gate - by the Big Fish sculpture – and inside it’s the 1st door on right). The First Out Northwest Women’s Network hosts social gatherings for les/bi/trans women and their female friends which alternate between The Cabin at Breffni Family Resource Centre, Carrick on Shannon & the North Leitrim Women’s Centre, Bee Park, Manorhamilton.

"I went to first out to figure out what my orientation was, I was looking for a label. I didn't find one there, but what I did find was somewhere to talk about who I was and that helped me to get more comfortable with not labelling myself "

~ Jessica

Where do I go when I come into Outhouse?

When you come into Outhouse you will be asked to sign in at the desk just inside the door. In this café area on the ground floor there are other people, who are there to participate in other activities such as the Women's Night or other of the groups in Outhouse. There will often be a mixture of men and women. On one of the café tables you will see a sign saying “First Out”. We gather at this table and when everyone has arrived we go up to the library on the first floor, which we have to ourselves. If you arrive late the receptionist at the door will be able to guide you as to where to go.

Do I have to be sure that I am lesbian in order to attend First Out?

No, First Out is a group for women exploring their sexuality. You are very welcome whether you are just vaguely aware of having some doubts about your sexuality or whether you know that you definitely are lesbian or bisexual, but feel you could benefit from a space to explore ways of dealing with this or any issues related to it.

Will there be any men at the First Out meeting?

No, First Out is a women-only group. There are other groups in Outhouse specifically for men or for both men and women. Please consult www.outhouse.ie for more information on other groups.

Why does most of this information relate to Outhouse and not the North Leitrim Women's Centre?

We're sorry about that. The Leitrim group has just started up and the website is being changed to reflect the two groups instead of just the original. We will update the website with all the relevant information as fast a possible.

At what point in their life do women typically attend First Out?

We have women of all ages attending. Some women start consciously exploring and questioning their sexuality in their teens; many others are in their forties, fifties or older before realizing that they may not be heterosexual. The majority of women attending First Out tend to be between 20 and 45. Each woman's situation is unique: some women have identified themselves as gay for many years, some are at the point of just starting to wonder about their sexuality, some are or have been married to a man and have children.

What happens at a First Out meeting and who are the facilitators?

First Out meetings are usually attended by between two and six women and last up to two hours. There are three volunteers, who take turns to facilitate the First Out meetings. Usually there will be two facilitators at each meeting. We call ourselves “facilitators” to indicate that we are not there in any kind of professional counselling capacity, but purely as individual women, who ourselves have been through the journey of exploring our sexuality, and who are now comfortable with our own identities. We encourage everyone at the meeting to participate to the extent they are comfortable with themselves, and we try to ensure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable throughout. The idea is to provide a space, which feels as safe as possible, to openly explore your sexuality through talking about your own situation and listening to others telling about theirs. Some women attend just one meeting and use it as a catalyst to move on in their life, while others attend First Out meetings over a period of time.

First Out is for women who are encountering difficulties within themselves or their surroundings caused by their sexuality. As such is it not a social group, although it often happens that participants exchange phone numbers and having attended the group thereby becomes the basis for starting a social circle within the gay community. If you are in reality quite clear about your sexuality, though, and you are purely looking for a social group, First Out will not be the place for you, and you might instead want to look at some of the other activities offered in 'outhouse', e.g. “Women's Night” every Thursday evening in the café on the ground level. For more information look at www.outhouse.ie.

What will I get out of attending First Out?

- You will get a sense of being understood by others who are currently going through, or have in the past gone through, some of the same feelings you are experiencing.

- You will have the opportunity to talk through your situation, thoughts, fears, etc.

- Through listening to others' stories you will have the realization that you are not alone – no matter what your circumstances are.

What if I'm worried about confidentiality?

No one participating in a First Out meeting, whether as a participant or a facilitator is allowed to disclose any details of conversations/events that take place within the meeting groups to people outside of First Out.

Is First Out a formal charity or organization?

First Out is not a formal charity in any shape or form. As Outhouse very kindly hosts our meetings at no expense and all facilitators are volunteers, we have no expenses other than maintaining this website, we do not require funding from anywhere (other than perhaps seeking ad hoc funding for leaflets, etc). First Out is purely a very informal gathering once a month. As such we try to keep the structure as simple as possible – there are no formal procedures to be upheld, neither by participants nor by facilitators. There is no board, no policies and procedures and no formal guidelines. We try to keep it this way in order for the meetings to take the form simply of a group of people meeting to chat about a subject that is common to them. Everyone – facilitators as well as participants – is respected equally no matter what their story, or at what stage in the coming out process they are.

 

 

 

©FirstOut2010 - 2011

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