Over a hundred trans people have had their new gender legally recognised in Ireland – six months after the country introduced a revolutionary new recognition system.
Until last year the Republic of Ireland has provided no legal recognition for transgender people at all – but following a 17-year legal battle with trans woman Dr Lydia Foy, the government passed a gender recognition law.
The bold new Gender Recognition law, which came into force in September, includes sweeping changes to allow transgender people to gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor or requiring medical treatment.
The form to apply for an Irish GRC is just two pages long, and has been praised by trans activists for cutting through many of the hurdles present in other countries.
Under the system, the form to change your legal gender is shorter than the one to replace a missing pensions book.
Six months on from the law’s introduction, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland have hailed it as a success, with 113 gender certificates issued
TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said: “Six months after the commencement of the Act we can see that trans people are availing of legal recognition.
“Ireland is unique in that our legal recognition process is simple, straightforward and accessible. We are one of just six countries in the world that expressly allow trans people to self-determine their legal gender.
“This has been a significant moment for the trans community in Ireland. We now exist in the eyes of the law.”
The law is set to be reviewed in 2017 – and the group is calling for the law to be expanded to under-16 trans people, and people with non-binary identities.
He said: “Legislative change is incredibly important. However, there is significant work that still needs to be done to combat discrimination and improve healthcare, education and employment for trans people.
“Trans people and their families have considerable support needs and it is clear that we still need to raise awareness about our diverse experiences.
“There is still a lot of work to do to ensure all trans people are included in Irish society.”
The UK government has previously signalled that it is “open” to an Irish-style GRC system, amid reviews of the existing law.