Irish LGBTQ+ organisations launch Trans Equality Together coalition

The coalition is spearheaded by TENI, BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland, who are joined and supported by various other LGBTQ+ and ally member groups.

Group shot of atendees at the Trans Equality Together launch.
Image: Twitter: @TransEqTogether

On Monday, June 13, a new coalition, Trans Equality Together, was launched with the aim of “creating an Ireland where Trans people are equal, safe and valued”. The official launch took place in the Mansion House, Dublin, and was hosted by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland.

The main objectives of Trans Equality Together are to promote positive attitudes toward Trans and non-binary people, advocate for Trans-positive policy and legislative changes (particularly in relation to gender recognition and healthcare), and counter negative and false information and messaging surrounding Trans people.

Among the speakers at the event was Sara R Philips, chair of TENI and co-director of Trans Equality Together. Commenting on the necessity of a coalition such as this, she stated: “There are lots of groups doing excellent work throughout the country to support the Trans community and protect and promote our rights. But attacks on Trans people’s rights are also increasing and are focused on hindering or repealing legal reforms on gender recognition; halting medical care; limiting civil protections; and decimating gender equality.

“The aim of Trans Equality Together is to bring together the diverse array of organisations that work with the Trans community directly and those that are our allies – to demonstrate to politicians, policymakers and the wider public the breadth of support that exists for Trans rights and the challenges that we, as a community, are facing right now,” she continued.

Fellow co-director of the coalition and CEO of BeLonG To, Moninne Griffith, added: “Trans people in Ireland are a tiny minority of the population whose voices have rarely been heard in national discourse. They have been marginalised, denied access to healthcare, and demonised in the press.

“Trans Equality Together will work to create an Ireland where Trans people are equal, safe and valued […] We do not want to see the sort of divisive rhetoric and villainisation of Trans people taking hold in Ireland that we have witnessed in other countries.”

The third co-director of the coalition is LGBT Ireland CEO Paula Fagan, who outlined Trans Equality Together’s plans for policy and legislative changes. “In Ireland, we have demonstrated strong leadership on Trans rights in the past,” she said, citing the Gender Recognition Act of 2015 which allows persons over 18 to have their true gender recognised in law based on self-declaration.

“Now, we need to acknowledge and address the gaps that exist in relation to gender recognition for under-18s; and gender-affirming healthcare for people of all ages. Over the coming months and years, Trans Equality Together will be working closely with Oireachtas members and policymakers to highlight these gaps and ensure properly resourced services and supports are in place for Ireland’s Trans community.” 

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland was in attendance to welcome the new coalition, saying that the work that Trans Equality Together is setting out to do “is vital right now”.

“The challenges that the community is faced with are well-documented and it’s so very important that people and groups have a structure like this new coalition,” she stated.

Other speakers at the launch event included young adults Tiernan Arnup and Jayson Pope who detailed their personal experiences being Trans in Ireland, Lynne Tracey and Enda Twomey who are parents of a Trans child, and LGBTQ+ and gender rights activist Ailbhe Smyth who chaired the event.

Alongside TENI, BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland on the coalition are a growing list of queer and ally organisations including Amnesty International Ireland, Bród West Cork, Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), GCN, Intersex Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish Network Against Racism, the National Women’s Council, Outhouse, and Trans Limerick Community. Additional groups are expected to join soon.

Rewatch the Trans Equality Together launch event on GCN’s Facebook page.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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