A new website, which aims to help the families of gender diverse children and transgender young people, has been designed as part of a PhD study by a Trinity College PhD student and will be launched in Trinity today.
The website, GenderEd.ie, aims to provide families with reliable and accessible information that will help them support their transgender family member(s). It will provide information on social transitioning, health and wellbeing and legal and administrative issues, as well as basic information regarding gender identity and other essential information.
Danika Sharek, an Irish Research Council PhD Scholar in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity, developed the website. She holds an M.Sc. in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College. Sharek is a social researcher with a focus on issues surrounding gender, sexuality, mental health and family education.
An LBGT Ireland study that Sharek worked on found that transgender young people were “significantly more likely to report a number of challenges to their mental health and wellbeing when compared to non-transgender youth”, Sharek stated in an email to Trinity News. Other studies of the same nature, carried out in Ireland, have come to similar conclusions.
Sharek chose to design a website aimed at providing support for the families of transgender young people because she found that there was a “lack of educational resources for these families”.
In a press release, Assistant Professor of Mental Health Dr. Edward McCann said: “The project is timely and adds to the knowledge base and supports available to families of people who identify as transgender. It is an important and useful educational resource.”
The website was designed with funding from the Irish Research Council, and in conjunction and with the support of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI),and their family support group, TransParenCI, as well as TransFormers, and BeLong To LGBT Youth Services, including their IndividualiTy transgender youth group.A number of transgender young people and their family members were also consulted throughout the development of the website, and they reviewed the overall programme once it was completed.
The website was launched today in the School of Midwifery and Nursing in Trinity. The event was chaired by Assistant Professor of Mental Health Dr Edward McCann and Director of Staff Education and Development in Trinity’s School of Nursing & Midwifery Sylvia Huntley-Moore. Danika Sharek, Health and Education Manager for TENI, Vanessa Lacey, and a mother of a transgender young person were present and discussed the new resource.