Cork County libraries set up phone line for Transgender people to register preferred details

In celebration of Transgender Visibility Day, all libraries in Cork County are offering to change service users' names and pronouns on their accounts.

Activist group Gender Rebels marching in Cork, where libraries are offering a service for Transgender Visibility Day.
Image: Gender Rebels Cork on Facebook

To mark Transgender Visibility Day this March 31, all libraries in Cork County are setting up a phone line to help Transgender and gender diverse individuals register their preferred names and pronouns on their membership. Anyone who is waiting to receive or has already received a Gender Recognition Certificate will be able to access the service.

Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services has decided to create a dedicated phone line from Library HQ which will facilitate the process of registering or changing membership details for Transgender people in any of the libraries in the county. The line will be available throughout the day on March 31 and calls will be answered by Library staff who have received gender identity awareness training to make sure that callers will have a positive experience and will be treated with sensitivity.

LGBTQ+ organisations Gay Project and Gender Rebels Cork have recently offered awareness training to the Council Library staff, explaining the difficulties that Transgender people face on a daily basis, amongst which is the challenging and costly process of legally changing one’s name and gender information. The service offered by Cork County libraries could make a big difference for some Transgender folks.

“At the beginning of coming out, many Trans people don’t have anything with their name on it. And the first time seeing it printed is a powerful moment,” explained Jack Fitzgerald from Gender Rebels Cork.

This is not the first time that the Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services have shown their commitment to furthering the inclusion of Transgender folks and making sure libraries are a safe and welcoming space for them. Last year, they offered a similar service to show their solidarity on Transgender Visibility Day. Moreover, they have other initiatives aimed at fostering diversity, like their Inclusion Programme, within which is an LGBTQ+ specific programme. Moreover, they support an LGBTQ+ adult book club, with a collection of books on queer topics that you can find on this leaflet.

“Inclusivity is at the heart of the Cork County Council Library and Arts Service ethos,” said Cork County Librarian Emer O’Brien. “As part of this ethos, we are delighted to play our part in recognising International Transgender Visibility Day on the 31st of March and supporting the Transgender and gender diverse community of Cork County.” 

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan welcomed the initiative with joy, saying: “Libraries can be one of the most important public spaces for people looking to learn, to connect with their community and to unwind. This latest move from Cork County Library and Arts Services will go a way towards ensuring that Trans and gender diverse people can feel validated in their identity as they partake in the amazing benefits of library membership.”

The phone line will be active throughout the day on March 31 at this number: 021-4285645.

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