BeLonG To the national organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people in Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘Being Trans in the EU’ by the FRA. This report represents the most comprehensive research into the lived experiences of Trans people across the European Union and will form the bedrock of important policy development across member states into the future.
The report sheds light on the extent of transphobia faced by Trans people across the EU member states and stresses that some groups are left particularly vulnerable: young people, the unemployed (including many trans young people), and those at an economic disadvantage.
Speaking on the publication of the report today, David Carroll, Executive Director at BeLonG To said:
“We are increasingly worried about vulnerable young people who hide their Trans identity while at school. We’re also aware of significant numbers of Trans young people from previous research who do not know from an early age how to describe their gender identity, due mainly to a lack of information on transgenderism and the possibility for identification as a Trans person”.
The report mirrors the findings of Supporting LGBT Lives, A Study of Mental Health & Wellbeing of LGBT People (2009) in illustrating a rather negative atmosphere towards LGBT people in secondary school. A breakdown by EU Member State shows that respondents from Ireland , Greece, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria and Romania are the least likely to have experienced a positive LGBT atmosphere at school.
Our research clearly shows the one of the most effective interventions in ending homophobia and transphobia is to provide training to educational professionals on how to approach LGBT issues in education and on how to deal with incidents of homophobic & transphobic bullying and harassment. Further investment is required in the appropriate training to secondary teachers to ensure they are equipped with the skills they need to deliver on the above.
Mr. Carroll continued:
“While training is pivotal in equipping educators to respond fully to homophobia & transphobia, we must not lose site of the positive initiatives underway within secondary schools in Ireland to create a more open and inclusive school climate for all LGBT young people. The national Anti-Bullying Action plan announced by former Minister Quinn in January 2013 is eradicating homophobic and transphobic bullying from Irish schools and remains the only national action plan on bullying in the world to include LGBT young people specifically.”
BeLonG To’s Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week is a core component of the national Action Plan on Bullying and is generously supported by the educational partners and the Departments of Education & Skills and Children and Youth Affairs.
Appropriate and accessible gender recognition is one of the cornerstones of protecting the human rights of Trans individuals. Such recognition will go a long way towards improving the mental health and wellbeing of Trans people and we call on the Government to introduce an inclusive and respectful Gender Recognition Bill to Dáil Éireann without delay.
To access the fra report, click HERE