Cis, Trans, Whatever: The Return of the Angry Activist


Gender 'tag cloud'
Gender 'tag cloud' (Photo credit: ILRI)

This blog as been fairly quiet over the last year or so, only popping up during the various campaigns I get interested in. I somehow lost interest in blogging about the ordinary news stuff that others write so well about, kind of lost my way. But today? Today was the first day I wanted to blog about something here. Today I felt like I had to write. Today.

I’m Cisgender, as are most of you reading this. For those of you unfamiliar with this term (as was I before this week) it means the following:

Identifying with or experiencing a gender the same as one’s biological sex or that is affirmed by society, e.g. being both male-gendered & male-sexed.

From Wikitionary.

So why am I angry? Well firstly, I have been following the Suzanne Moore and Julia Burchill debacle since The Observer published that awful piece (read this excellent post by Stavvers for the latest on that and the protest). Rather then just be a keyboard warrior, giving out on blogs and twitter, I decided to share an event being organised by UCC LGBT (one I will be attending!) a letter writing campaign on Gender Recognition, on which legislation is long over due.

Posting that led to a discussion/argument on Gender. Someone claimed that gender doesn’t exist outside the mind. Yet I am sure that same person would when on form where gender is asked, fill it. But thats fine for those of us who Cis, who are happy in gender, in whom our gender matches.

But what about those people whose self-identity is not reflected in the societal norm for a person with their biological sex? This is of course someone who is transgender, who with in time and support will make a change.  I understand others want to be completely outside the gender duality and may not wish to change what their birth cert and passport says. But there are people who want- and need- that change.

Who are we to stop them?

Why should we not continue the fight. The fight bravely started in this country by Lydia Foy and Louise Hannon. Two fantastic women who have brought this to the political agenda. Who are forcing a government to change. But of course, they still drag their feet.

They have dragged them for too long.

The Law needs to be changed!


Not next year, not during the next term. Now.

Legislation needs to be brought forward.

The Trans community are rightly fed up of waiting. They deserve our support. They support many of us in the LGB community, so we need to back them.

I can only imagine how hard it is to be a minority, within a minority, but they do it. They have stood by us on pride marches and protests.

So lets protest for them.

Its the least we can do.

And for all those out there who dont get this, read!

Its what I did.

I am no expert on Trans. But I am willing to listen are read about it. I have many wonderful people teach me about this. They know who they are. Some are involved in TENI while others are not.

I am glad I had that conversation today. Its put a fire back in me. I am angry. And I think you should be too.

Lets start with this and see how it goes.

Further Reading:

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Will the Government act on Article 8 of the ECHR?

Lydia Foy has won her case in the high court which ruled that the state is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Article 8 states the following

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Now will the Government Act? Under the programme for Government there is no planned Gender Recognition Act. We must also remember, that the Irish Government is not the quickest at remedying the law when it comes to the ECHR. How long did it take to implement the Norris Judgement?

I would love to see the Government bring in an act on this and I will be bringing it up at UCC YFG this week and will try and submit it for Conference.