Yesterday, 8th September, marked the first anniversary of the commencement of the Gender Recognition Act. According to the Department of Social Protection, 165 people have been legally recognised in the past year.
“The passage of the Gender Recognition Act was a momentous event in the history of trans rights in Ireland. Today we celebrate how far we’ve come as a community and we also look forward to what still needs to be done,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. “In 2017, the Government will review the Act and TENI will continue to actively campaign for the full inclusion of young trans, non-binary and intersex people.”
Legal gender recognition has been incredibly important to the trans community in Ireland. TENI asked three people to tell us what it meant to them to be legally recognised.
Sara R. Phillips had this to say: “The enactment of the Gender Recognition Act allowed me to self-determine my gender. It gave me the permission, and the respect of my country, to be recognised for who I am. This cannot be underestimated. The passing of the Act sends a loud signal in acknowledging that we are equal and cherished citizens. I am a very proud Irish woman and now my country recognises what I have known all along.”
Toryn Glavin added: “Gender recognition is important for a great deal of reasons but for me it is important because it gives certainty. It protects me from those who may wish to question my gender identity. My gender identity has to be respected now. Whether I am beginning a new job, getting a passport or going to the hospital, I am a woman in the eyes of the law and that provides immeasurable comfort. Life is scary enough without feeling the constant need to prove one’s gender. Gender recognition goes a long way to ensuring trans people are equal under the law and removes much of this worry. But there is still a way to go before we are all truly equal.”
Odin Urs Matei also commented on the Act : “Gender Recognition has passed and my wish came true to be officially recognised as male. Now that was truly amazing and it did change my life to give me a better perspective of my future. So thank you from the bottom of my heart all you beautiful wonderful people of TENI.”
Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families.