A number of students gathered outside front gate today to protest the lack of trans healthcare in Ireland and to witness a trans flag being dropped from two of the windows near front gate.
The group, including Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Gender Equality Officer Jenny Maguire, Chair of DU Gender Equality Society (DUGES) Leah Downey and incoming TCDSU President László Molnárfi, held a number of signs highlighting the issues facing the trans community with regard to access to healthcare.
The group also shouted chants including “trans healthcare now”, “trans rights, human rights”, and “what do we want, trans healthcare, when do we want it, now”.
Speaking at the protest, Maguire stated that “the attempts to silence the trans community in the media will not succeed”, adding that the community and its allies must “stand loud and proud”.
Another student highlighted the discrimination faced by trans people in accessing gender-affirming healthcare, stating that “my own mother got a testosterone prescription before I did”.
Adding to this, Maguire stated that “this just highlights the discrimination in healthcare as decisions are often made for [trans people], as if they can’t make informed decisions for themselves”, followed by a chant of “informed consent now”.
“Keep fighting, keep tweeting, keep emailing your local TDs, in Ireland the politics is smaller than you think. Do anything you can because we’re not being taken seriously in a healthcare crisis that is disproportionately affecting some of the most vulnerable people in Irish society”, Maguire finished.
In an email statement to The University Times, TCDSU stated that they are “disgusted at the current state of gender-affirming healthcare for transgender people in Ireland”.
“Recently, Minister Stephen Donnelly accepted Trans and Intersex Pride’s view that waiting times to access gender-affirming care in this country are unacceptable”, they continued. “Although we welcome the Minister’s acceptance of this fact, this issue goes beyond an estimated 8-10 year waiting list”.
They also highlighted a number of issues including the fact that a study conducted by Transgender Europe (TGEU), a network of trans organisations across the EU, ranked Ireland last in an assessment of the quality of trans healthcare and the “invasive and unnecessary” procedures and questions asked to trans individuals in order for them to access healthcare as well as the lack of healthcare for people under 18.
“We urge Minister Stephen Donnelly to consider the urgent need to recess transgender healthcare in Ireland and to listen to the trans communities’ call for an informed consent model that is led by GPs in local communities”, they added.
They finished: “TCD Students’ Union exists to defend all of its members. This year’s Gender Equality Week is unapologetically trans inclusive because none of us are free until all of us are”.
“Today’s demonstration aims to highlight that the fight for trans rights in Ireland is far from won. If you want to help us build on this campaign, please reach out to the Gender Equality Officer at [email protected] or the LGBT Rights Officer at [email protected]”