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New LGBTI+ Centre Opens

This morning, the new LGBTI+ Centre in Madeira was inaugurated in a ceremony that was attended by Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government, Rita Andrade, Regional Secretary for Social Inclusion and Citizenship, and Pedro Calado, Mayor of Funchal.

It should be noted that this is only the second LGBTI+ Centre to open in Portugal.  The first is located in Lisbon.  The space was ceded by the Regional Government to the associations Opus Gay Madeira and Rede Aequo.

During the inauguration, Miguel Albuquerque congratulated those present on the work carried out by the associations, reiterating the need to “end stigma, prejudice and discrimination,” and to create a cosmopolitan, open, free, cultured society that demonstrates empathy and understanding towards all citizens.

“It makes no sense to introduce prejudice and stigmas in relation to the LGBTI community,” he stressed, regretting that prejudice is “a still very powerful force in society. There are still many young victims of bullying, and it makes no sense that this continues to happen.”

Paulo Spínola, coordinator of Opus Gay Madeira, believes that this new centre represents “hope” for all those who feel discriminated against and that everyone can live in a more inclusive society.

The centre will provide services ranging from clinical psychology to social activities, such as walks and social gatherings, in addition to training and school awareness programmes. However, Paulo Spínola was keen to stress that the centre is open to everyone from young adults to adults, since discrimination, the feeling of isolation and invisibility that affects these minorities is not exclusive to just one age group.

Opus Gay Madeira “offers the entire LGBTI+ community a psychosocial and therapeutic intervention, around issues such as stigma and discrimination, having, for this purpose, a team of three psychologists.”

The centre is located in Rua Latino Coelho n° 57, Funchal, and is open daily from 09:00 to 19:00.

Samantha Gannon

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