Being Transgender in Northern Ireland

Transgender and-non binary rights are also human rights.

Transgender and non-binary equality rights in Northern Ireland are still in the early stages.

Transgender people and non-binary people still do not have the same rights as other people in the UK and Ireland. Some transgender and non-binary people in Northern Ireland are still being affected by the lack of Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland.

An individual cannot apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) if they are married, or in a civil partnership in Northern Ireland. They could apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, if they are married or in a Civil Partnership if they lived elsewhere in the UK. It still takes at least 2 years to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate in the UK. Getting a Gender Recognition Certificate ensures that a transgender person can apply for jobs and medical treatment, without having to disclose their transgender status, transgender people should not be discriminated against.

Trans people in Northern Ireland also have problems in applying for social housing as transphobia is not recognised by the Housing Executive, on housing application forms, to gain social housing points.

There is very little non-binary identification recognition available for non-binary people in Northern Ireland.

Why should transgender people have to find a specialist in Gender Identity, a doctor and a solicitor to fill in parts of the Gender Recognition application form? Why should transgender people have to go through an expensive and unnecessary process to be recognised for whom they really are? Why are any medical professionals required to apply for a GRC, when transgender and non-binary individuals should be able to self-identify their own genders?

Homosexuality was de-criminalised in Northern Ireland in 1982, we now need to stop discriminating against transgender and non-binary people, in 2018.

The volunteers of Trans Pride NI, are actively involved in transgender Support Groups in Northern Ireland. These groups have been invaluable in supporting and advocating for transgender rights in the NI community.

These groups include:

Gender Essence Support Services

Belfast Butterfly Club

Queerspace

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information or to volunteer for Trans Pride NI (Belfast), to help raise awareness and celebrate the transgender community in Northern Ireland.

Fighting for Trans Rights

Male to female people cannot currently get free sperm storage on the NHS in Northern Ireland, although they may become infertile when they take cross sex hormones. This infringes on their human right to family life. Trans Pride NI is currently fighting this decision.

The last time Trans Pride NI checked, there was a 2 year wait to attend the Gender Identity Clinic in Belfast and a 9 month wait to get cross sex hormones on the NHS. This is simply not good enough.

Non-binary intersex crowd northern ireland
Non-binary intersex crowd northern ireland

Some GPs in Northern Ireland still will not refer transgender patients to the Gender Identity Clinic at Brackenburn. Some GPs will also not complete the paperwork to allow transgender people to apply for Gender Identity Certificates. Trans Pride NI is currently fighting to ensure this does not happen again.

Research

Some members of Trans Pride NI participated in the following research on transgender people in Northern Ireland:

“Transgender Support Groups in Northern Ireland: Resisting the Expectations of the Gender Identity Clinic and Legitimising Transgender Identities” by Charlotte Troy Durham University 2018

“The Luck of the Draw: A report on trans individuals reporting hate incidents in Northern Ireland by Ruari – Santiago McBride and Ulf Hansson Institute for Conflict Research 2010

“Healthcare Issues for Transgender People in Northern Ireland” by Ruari-Santiago McBride Institute for Conflict Research 2011

“Transgender Experiences of Inclusion in Sport” by Owen DW Hagie, DavidTV A. Mitchell and Ian JA Somerville International Review for the Sociology of Sport 2015

Response to Gender Recognition Act Reform

Trans Pride NI submitted its response to the Gender Recognition Act Reform in October 2018 and is currently awaiting all the responses to be published.

A response from a member of Trans Pride NI, to the Women and Equalities Committees Report on Transgender Equality in 2016, is given Here

Films

Films featuring some Trans Pride NI members:

Like a Ball of Wool by Gender Essence Support Services 2014

Butterfly directed by Stuart McLaughlin 2014

TV

TV Appearances by a member of Trans Pride NI:

“Series 3, Adrianne Elson, Story of a Lifetime with Stephen Nolan” BBC One 2016

“LGBT Rights in Northern Ireland”, Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Two 2016