Wednesday October 10 will see the story of Louise Hannon reach television screens as part of Finné, the TG4 series which looks at the human side of big Irish stories that made the headlines over the past 40 years. Louise’s case was particularly notable as she was the first Irish trans woman to take her employer to court for gender discrimination.
For five years before her ultimate transition, Hannon had worked as a business development manager with a trucking transport company. Hannon had informed her company about her transition and that she was considering leaving as she didn’t believe they “would be comfortable with it”.
The company asked her to stay, but proved to be not quite as welcoming as Hannon initially believed. She was asked to work from home and take business calls in her “male identity”, she was also told she would have to revert to that identity while meeting clients, along with being informed she could not use the female toilets when she did visit work.
Finné looks at Hannon’s extraordinary journey when she decided to take her employer to the equality tribunal on the grounds of sexual discrimination. Louise also gives an honest, raw and often heartbreaking account of growing up as an Irish trans woman where she felt compelled to fill a role as an only son to a farming family. As happens with many of her generation, it was not until middle age that she began to step into her true identity – an identity she previously thought was impossible.
The series as a whole recounts intimate stories of triumphs and traumas, of Davids and Goliaths, of dogged resilience and human frailties, through riveting first person testimony. Series producer, Paddy Hayes, said the show: “allows each individual the time and the freedom to tell their raw and powerful stories in their own words, and Louise Hannon’s account of discovering her true identity by transitioning to female is a real case of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”
Make sure to catch Finné at 9.30pm October 10 on TG4.
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