Community demands action at Transgender Day of Visibility demonstration in Dublin

Crowds gathered alongside Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin to advocate for trans rights and fight back against oppression.

Crowd with Trans Pride banner and Pride flags gathered on Transgender Day of Visibility to share their struggles, advocate for their rights, and fight back against oppression. 

On Friday, March 31, crowds gathered in front of the Dáil to mark Transgender Day of Visibility. The day is meant to give trans people a voice to share their struggles, advocate for their rights and fight back against oppression. The event was organised by Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin.

Despite the rainy weather, the event was well-attended. Each speech emphasised how the trans community remains united, strong and resilient despite an increase in violence against the LGBTQ+ community and how trans stories continue to be misrepresented in national debates.

Transgender Day Visibility speakers included Jenny Maguire, the Gender Equality Office for Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union, and Lilith Ferreyra-Carroll from TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland), an incredible activist who recently became the first transgender person to speak at the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The next speaker was Molly, who gave a powerful speech describing the role transphobia had in the loss of her close friend, Eden Knight, who tragically died by suicide after being denied gender-affirming care, forced to de-transition and subjected to conversion therapy.



The founder of Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin, Ollie Bell, spoke about news outlets misrepresenting trans experiences, the loss of Brianna Ghey, and how Ireland continues to rank as the worst country in Europe for trans healthcare, behind Poland and Hungary. “We are forced to wait almost a decade to just step through the front door of the National Gender Service. When we’re there, we’re interrogated by a disgusting and dehumanising assessment,” they said.

Ollie described a world that trans activists dream of, where they are able to safely walk down the street without fear of harassment or violence, fully express themselves the way they want to and thrive instead of just barely surviving.

Next, the organisers opened the floor to anyone who wished to speak. One speaker talked about how she transitioned twenty years ago, referencing the work that has happened across the past two decades to reach a point where cis allies now show up for trans events. Compared to those early events, she described this Trans Day of Visibility attendance as “massive”.

She affirmed that thousands of people across Ireland love and support trans people and promised, “We’ll never go back in the closet.” In closing, she said, “When I look around this crowd, I don’t see the rain, I see the umbrellas each of you are holding over each other. Hold each other close, and remember that hope is a discipline, and we will all get through this if we all look after each other.”

The last speaker was James Hudson from the Small Trans Library, who reminded everyone about the mutual aid fund that is available to meet cost of living needs. LGBTQ+ community members and allies with the financial means to do so are encouraged to donate to the fund through PayPal and Patreon.



Encouraged by the attendance at Friday’s demonstration, Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin is calling for more support at an upcoming event. At 12pm on Sunday, April 16, LGBTQ+ people and allies are encouraged to go to Belfast to participate in a counterprotest against a British anti-trans speaker to show that the vast majority of people support and stand in solidarity with the trans community.

Trans Day of Visibility protests demonstrate that visibility can not happen without the social progress of trans rights, and the fight does not end here. In the US, Transgender Day of Visibility rallies were held across the country. Despite the increasingly hostile legislation that attempts to erase trans people, over 1,000 people marched from Union Station in Washington, DC demanding equal protection under the law.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.