Last Tuesday, September 7, marked the first day that trans people can apply to be legally recognised in their true gender. The Department of Social Protection published the application form and have begun accepting applications.
Speaking at a press conference alongside Tánaiste Burton, Minister Humphreys and Dr Lydia Foy, TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said: “Today is an incredible day and a historic moment for the trans community in Ireland. This is the first day we will be seen as who we truly are. Trans people finally exist in the eyes of the State.”
“Today also marks the end of Dr Lydia Foy’s twenty-two year journey to be legally recognised. I want to commend her courage and tenacity,” said Giambrone. “TENI would also like to thank Tánaiste Burton and Minister Humphreys for their leadership and vision. This legislation is compassionate, progressive and affirms our human rights. We must also thank all of our allies in the Dáil and Seanad for their support and hard work to get this legislation passed.”
Self-Determination of Trans Identities
Ireland is now a global leader in trans rights and is one of just five countries in the world that has legislation based on self-determination. This means that there is no requirement for medical experts, medical treatments or diagnosis of a mental disorder in order for individuals who are 18 years of age or older to be legally recognised.
“Self-determination is critical to trans people and we must be able to affirm our own identities and have our rights vindicated,” continued Giambrone. “As a trans person, I believe this legislation marks an incredible shift in Irish society and that it will go a long way in protecting and honouring trans identities.”
“There is still more work to be done to ensure that young, intersex and non-binary people will also be afforded rights. TENI commits to vigorously advocating for those who need to be included in this Act. However, today we have taken a massive leap forward. This is a turning point for trans rights in Ireland and I hope this leads to further positive changes for our community,” concluded Giambrone.
Trans People Speak
Trans people reflected on what the passage legislation meant to them:
“Today marks the start of the rest of my life, I am having my deepest childhood dream realised. No legislative change could ever happen in the future that could effect me more than the one that was passed. Today my identity has been finally recognised as authentic by the state,” said Sam Blanckensee, 21, trans guy.
“I am so proud of my country today! This legislation is something that will make an enormous difference to my life. Finally I will be able to have matching identity documents and I will be spared the discomfort and embarrassment of having to out myself as trans in public settings. So many times in my life I have felt like I had to ask for permission to exist but that will no longer be the case,” said Ben Power, 34, trans man.
“The Gender Recognition Act is an incredibly important moment for Ireland’s transgender community. Despite some issues this Act including self-determination will change many lives and means a lot. It’s been fantastic to help work towards this and I can’t wait to continue the fight towards recognition for those under 18 and non-binary people,” said Toryn Glavin, 21, trans.