Funding allocated to support transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming students

“If this fund helps just one person come a step closer to their true self, it will be enough for me.”

Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) has mandated to allocate resources to be given to a fund that will support transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming students. 

The proposed “T-fund” will be a total of €20,000.

The resources are to be allocated from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Fund as per the suggestions outlined in the T-Fund Proposal document. 

This motion comes as Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) released statistics stating that 78% of trans people in the UK and Ireland have thought about ending their lives and 40% have attempted suicide.

The project will be for a ten year period starting September 2021.

Speaking to Trinity News, Leah Keogh, who proposed the motion, said: “The T-Fund is a really exciting project, the third of its kind in the country.  After hearing anecdotal stories from friends about the mass barriers to transitioning and the sobering statistic that, according to TENI, 78% of trans people in the UK and Ireland have thought about ending their lives, I thought it imperative that I act in my role as Welfare and Equality Officer to ease this process in any way that I could.”

“Having built a positive working relationship with Q Soc this year, I was delighted when they agreed to collaborate with the SU on this project, offering their expertise in the area,” Keogh added. 

The Council acknowledged the work of Nation University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) and Dublin City University (DCU) Students’ Unions on their introduction of a ‘T-Fund’ that provides financial assistance to facilitate social transitioning which refers to the social portion of a transition by which a person makes others aware of their gender identity.

Explaining the fund, Keogh added: “This fund endeavours to facilitate social transitioning, whereby a person makes others aware of their gender identity.” 

“Social transitioning can involve a person telling others about their gender identity by officially changing their name and/or gender and accessing resources that allow them to express themselves.” 

Keogh continued: “Beginning and continuing social transition can bring gender affirmation and relieve gender dysphoria.”

“College is generally a time where students can freely express themselves, often for the first time. If this fund helps just one person come a step closer to their true self, it will be enough for me.”

At Council, Keogh urged people to vote in favor of this motion and “play your part and be part of history”.

Backing the motion at Council, LGBT+ Officer Brian Hastings said that “it’s really important to help students transitioning in any way possible”.

Council also noted that for many people, “beginning and continuing social transition can bring gender affirmation and relieve gender dysphoria”.

At Council, Keogh stated that the fund will go towards providing  “Gender recognition certs, jewellery, make up” or “anything” that can help students who are transitioning.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) Fund has been established to fund projects that “benefit students and has proved effective by doing so in the past”. 

Additional reporting by Finn Purdy, Jack Kennedy, Bonnie Gill, Kate Henshaw and Connie Roughan.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as News Editor and Assistant News Editor.