DCU students march for transgender rights

Leigh McGowran

Students from DCU’s LGBT society marched to support the Transgender Healthcare Protest on the 20th January.

Dean O’Reilly, the chairperson of DCU’s LGBT society, said that there were roughly 25 students from DCU who showed their support in the march.

“Events like this are mainly created by organisations like the Union of Students in Ireland, but this one was organised by two students: Luke Daly and Noah Halpin, which I feel is really important for the community,” said O’Reilly.

“It’s started a conversation, particularly in the student realm. It has helped to bring up Transgender discussion in the country,” he said.

The organisers of the protest, Luke Daly and Noah Halpin, explained the importance of the march, and shared a similar belief in its impact.

“The march alone will not solve these issues, this is a long haul fight that we will continue to pursue every day until it’s solved.

“But what it has done is that it’s opened up and started a dialogue between everyone. The dialogue is now open, next step is to open it up even more and make even more people aware,” Daly said.

There were roughly 300 students involved in the march from around the country. Daly said the support of the USI “both drove and reinforced that”.

The protest, which began at Merrion Square and ended outside Leinster House, was organised to raise awareness on a number of transgender issues. These include long waiting lists for hormone replacement therapy, the need for a psychiatric diagnosis to receive the replacement therapy, and a lack of physicians who support hormone replacement therapy.

Many transgender people want this treatment to be handled by general practitioners.

78 per cent of trans people have thought about ending their lives and 40 per cent have attempted suicide, according to statistics from Transgender Equality Network Ireland.

“We are meeting with several politicians on an ongoing basis,” Daly said.

“But it’s not just Noah and myself who are going to be meeting with politicians. Everyone should get out their email, book an appointment with their local TD and bring the issue up.”

Leigh McGowran