TCDSU Gender Equality Officer demands “trans healthcare now” in campus protest

A handmade trans pride flag was hung from Regent House by members of TCDSU

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Gender Equality Officer Jenny Maguire led a protest demanding “trans healthcare now” at the Front Gate today.

Speaking at the protest, Maguire said that Ireland has the “worst [transgender] healthcare in the EU”. She said: “The waiting lists are too long and it’s killing trans people. LGBT people deserve equal treatment to everyone else.”

Maguire said that “the healthcare that trans people need is the healthcare that everybody needs”.

“It’s unnecessary discrimination against trans people to gatekeep their healthcare away from them, as if they can’t make informed decisions for themselves.”

Maguire encouraged attendants to “tweet, email [and] send letters to your TDs”.

TCDSU Communications and Marketing Officer Julie Smirnova and Welfare and Equality Officer Chloe Staunton unveiled a handmade trans pride flag from the front window of Regent House.

Speaking to Trinity News after the protest, Maguire said that College needs to “properly support its students”.

Maguire called out the “lack of gender neutral bathrooms and signage”, explaining that it has “left people, myself included, just wondering where we need to pee”.

“Students are given unnecessary stress and harm for absolutely no reason. College needs to look inside first, but also needs to stand alongside the trans community in the fight for the informed consent model for healthcare.”

Maguire, who organised Gender Equality Week as part of her role as Gender Equality Officer, said she wanted to emphasise that “the fight for trans rights is the fight for gender equality”, and that “we need to keep in mind the intersectionality of all varying issues”.

Maguire also said she hopes that TCDSU can “expand the T-Fund”, which provides financial support to students trying to transition. According to Maguire, who previously served as LGBT Rights Officer, the T-Fund is currently €1,000 per semester, but the Union “would get so many submissions that you were giving out cents to people because that’s all you could give them”.

Earlier this week, TCDSU marked the beginning of Gender Equality Week by unveiling a large-scale poster outside the Arts Building highlighting the inadequacies of trans healthcare in Ireland.

In 2022, Ireland was ranked as the worst healthcare provider for transgender people in the EU by Transgender Europe (TGEU), an EU-funded network of more than 200 trans-rights organisations. Ireland scored one point out of 12 based on six criteria, including the type of transgender healthcare and coverage available in the country and the youngest age someone can access hormonal treatments.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor