An event titled “How to Be a Transgender Ally,” featuring musician and author CN Lester in conversation with Gordon Grehan of TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland), is due to take place in Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday, May 7.
The event is organised by the Faculty of Health Sciences as part of Trinity’s Athena SWAN Project, which aims to create an inclusive university culture and take steps towards uncovering and addressing any barriers for women in academia. This project has recently expanded its charter to include work on behalf of Trinity’s transgender community.
Louise Walsh, Athena SWAN Project Officer for Health Sciences, says “I’m glad that under the recently expanded charter, the focus now includes looking at supporting transgender staff and students. My aim is for this event to shine a spotlight on how best we can all do this – with particular focus on language use.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be CN Lester, a trans musician and author of Trans Like Me: A Journey For All Of Us, a book offering a personal and cultural exploration of the most pressing issues facing today’s trans community – named as one of three essential works on trans issues by The New York Times. Lester works internationally and has featured on platforms including BBC Radio and The Guardian. They also co-founded the UK’s first national queer youth organisation.
Joining CN is Gordon Grehan from TENI, a leading trans rights organisation which seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. Gordon is responsible for the design and delivery of TENI’s ‘Trans 101’ training programme and works with employers, higher education institutions and supports organisations to ensure that their policies and procedures are trans-friendly.
All are invited to join Lester and Grehan for an evening of shared experience and open conversation on how to be a genuine ally for trans staff and students. Those who have access requirements, such as ISL/English interpreting, are invited to contact organisers so that everyone can be facilitated.
With trans people in Ireland still struggling to access healthcare and facing frequent transphobia – in their personal lives and in the media – this Trinity College event will offer much-needed education for those who want to learn how best to support our trans community. The recent controversy over comments by gay Irish author John Boyne, who wrote an article describing himself as a trans ally but rejecting the term “cis,” has shown that even those within the LGBT+ community could benefit from a more open and informative conversation on trans issues.
The event will take place in the Jonathan Swift Theatre, Arts, 2041A, Trinity College Dublin, from 6.30-8.00pm. Attendance is free, but registration via Eventbrite is essential.
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