Irish cancer charity Marie Keating Foundation responds following abuse over trans-inclusive article

The organisation emphasised that "cancer does not discriminate" after it received hateful comments on a trans-inclusive article. 

This article is about the Marie Keating Foundation's trans-inclusive aritcle. The image shows a protest sign reading
Image: Shutterstock: Ink Drop

The Marie Keating Foundation has responded after it received an onslaught of hateful comments for posting a trans-inclusive article about prostate cancer. The feature was published on Monday, September 18, highlighting why it’s important that not just men over 40 be aware of the condition.

In the piece, the organisation shares the story of Denise Breen, a trans woman who is lending her voice to support the Stand Up for Your Prostate Campaign this Blue September.

“Having been assigned male at birth and despite surgery to correct that error, Denise has a prostate. Most transgender women do, as do some intersex and non-binary people. That’s ok. Nature is weird and wonderful sometimes. It is infinite in its diversity and combinations,” it reads.

“Nowadays as well as getting her regular screenings such as BreastCheck, Denise gets a regular Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test at her local GP’s office. It’s a simple blood test that gets sent away to a lab and one usually gets the result a few days later.”

The article notes that the process is “never simple” for trans, intersex or non-binary people, and that all medical staff and laboratory technicians need to be educated on the fact “that a simple XX/XY chromosomal binary is a very narrow definition of human nature and biology”.

It concludes by saying that, “Through supporting programmes such as Blue September, Denise hopes that all transgender, intersex and non-binary people will consider getting a PSA test.”


After sharing the article on social media, the Marie Keating Foundation received multiple anti-trans comments. The organisation promptly issued follow-up posts, stating: “We will not respond to hate speech or discrimination.

Cancer does not discriminate and we are here for EVERYONE and every step of a cancer journey. Early detection is key in every community and this can only be achieved by including a diverse range of experiences and journeys,” it said.

“Prostate cancer awareness is important to everyone born with a prostate. Men & those born male or assigned male at birth. A woman who was assigned male at birth has a prostate. We are highlighting that everyone with a prostate needs to get their PSA checked.”

In the aftermath, many have spoken out in solidarity with the charity, including Panti Bliss, who described the “abuse” as “some of the most despicable stuff” she has seen in a while. 

“Utterly devoid of any human empathy or compassion. Total obsessive hate,” she wrote.


Former Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu similarly responded, echoing “Cancer doesn’t discriminate!”

Both Chu and Bliss also shared the donate link for the Marie Keating Foundation, encouraging anyone who has the means to support the organisation.


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