Up to 2,000 people took to the streets in Dublin on Saturday afternoon for the Trans Pride march.
long the route, passing drivers sounded car horns in support of those making their way from the Garden of Remembrance to the main stage near Merrion Square, where they were greeted with cheers from the crowd.
Addressing the gatherers, Lilith Ferreyra-Carroll, a high-profile activist and national community development officer for the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni), said the trans community had come out to “assert our truth, beauty and strength in defiance of those who would attempt to pathologise, dehumanise and attack”.
“Our voices, our experiences, our needs take primacy over their fear, hate and division,” she said.
“The dehumanising and demonization of our community that is being enabled right now is emboldening those who physically attack us, who intimidate us and attempt to invalidate us. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary.”
She said Ireland has a “barbaric model of adult trans healthcare” which requires the trans community to subject themselves to “hours-long excruciating psychiatric assessments that pathologise us and force us to divulge our porn habits, thoughts during oral sex and to forcibly out ourselves to work and family to access hormones and surgery”.
Also speaking at the march, protest organizer Ollie Belle asked people to steer away from conversations in the national media that she claimed are constructed to “scaremonger”.
“I would say to people that the debates around bathrooms and kids transitioning have stunted the conversation. Those issues have been done to death.
“We should start talking about trans healthcare in Ireland and the seriously high level of mental health problems in the trans community that have increased because of transphobic debate.
“I would ask people to first listen to trans people and to hear their personal stories rather than those who have no personal experience of the issue.”
Last month, in an interview with Hot Press, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was “extraordinarily difficult” to be a transgender person in Ireland. He said “in terms of acceptance”, attitudes towards trans people are no different than that toward gay men two decades ago.
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