About


Trans Equality Together is a coalition of organisations to create an Ireland where trans and non-binary people are equal, safe and valued.

Membership

The coalition is led by TENI, Belong To and LGBT Ireland.

Other members include: AMACH! LGBT Galway, Amnesty International Ireland, BI+ Ireland, Bród West Cork, FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), Intersex Ireland, Irish Network Against Racism, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish Network Against Racism, National LGBT Federation (NXF), the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Outhouse, ShoutOUT, The Open Doors Initiative, Trans Greystones, and Trans Limerick Community, with additional groups in the process of joining.

To find out how you can get involved head here.

Our Purpose

  • Solidarity between all people who challenge the limits of gender norms;
  • Equality for all people who have been disadvantaged by gender norms; and
  • Protection for all people who challenge gender norms.

Our Objectives

  • Promote positive attitudes towards trans and non-binary people;
  • Counter the negative and false messages about trans people that have been circulating in recent years; and
  • Advocate for policy and legislative changes that will improve the lives of trans people and make Ireland a more equal society for all.

Key Issues for Ireland’s Trans Community

There are two key policy / legislative issues on which Trans Equality Together is currently focused:

1. Affirmative Healthcare

Despite commitments made by government and the HSE to improve access to healthcare – in the National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy, the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy, and the HSE’s final report on the Development of Transgender Identity Services in December 2020 – trans and non-binary young people are suffering as they wait to access healthcare.

Currently, there is no active health service for trans children and adolescents in Ireland. The Gender Identity Adolescent Service – situated in Crumlin Children’s Hospital – closed to new referrals in December 2020. Prior to its closure, there was a waiting list of over three years for trans young people to access the service. Now, those young people are on a waiting list for a service that no longer exists. And, for trans young people who were not already receiving medical advice, they now have no access to healthcare and nowhere to turn.

From age 17 onwards, adolescents are referred to the adult service and the waiting list for that is projected to be 10 years by December 2021.

There is a clear need for a child and adolescent multi-disciplinary team to oversee the care of this cohort and to run the service in Ireland. Gender-affirming care for trans young people must be a priority.

2. Gender Recognition

Since 2015, people over 18 have had their preferred gender recognised in law – including on their passports and birth certificates – based on self-declaration. However, proposals to amend the Gender Recognition Act 2015 to simplify the gender recognition process for 16 and 17-year-olds have not been implemented, and are now long overdue.

For those aged 16 and 17, there is currently provision for the minimum age requirement of 18  to be waived by an order issued from the Circuit Family Court. To obtain such an order, the young person requires the consent of both their parents (there are exceptions to this where this is not possible or would be dangerous) and certificates from two doctors (who must be either endocrinologists or psychiatrists) – one who is the young person’s primary treating medical practitioner and one who has no connection with the young person.

The involvement of medical practitioners medicalises this process and is in breach of current human rights recommendations. It also creates practical difficulties in terms of access to the appropriate specialists (due to long waiting lists) and the high costs that can be incurred when specialists are accessed outside of the public system. The experience of having to attend Court, meanwhile, can be daunting, stressful and costly for young people and their parents. Difficulties can also arise when one parent is willing to consent to the young person’s application for a Gender Recognition Certificate, but the other is not; or when the young person does not have the support of any parent.

Current Irish law is completely silent on recognition for children under 16. The reason for maintaining the legal status quo for under 16s has never been made clear by government. This is an issue that has been raised by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and one they have specifically asked for further information on.

In line with the recommendations made in the Review of the Gender Recognition Act, we want to see a system of gender recognition introduced for young people, with the system subject to the following key principles:

  • Parental consent required (with an appropriate legal process to address cases where there is not consent from both parents or it is not possible or safe to obtain same).
  • Process would be administrative.
  • Straightforward revocation process.
  • Third-party support for the young person and family involved.

NOTE: Gender recognition is not  the same as medical intervention. Many trans people decide to modify their bodies – and many trans people don’t. There are three ways in which trans people can choose to transition:

  1. Social: this typically involves name and pronoun changes; and seeking access to information and support.
  2. Legal: this involves having your gender legally recognised.
  3. Medical: this involves taking medication and / or having surgery that help align a trans person’s body to their gender identity.