Today, March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Across the world, small groups are marking and celebrating their identities, focussed on the challenges facing our society and the trans community.

In Dublin, the launch of a Trans Youth Report is taking place – a partnership between Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI), BeLonG To and the Irish Trans Student Alliance (ITSA). The project explored the experiences of trans young people in the areas of health, education and legislation.

Attending the conference, Sinn Féin representative Fintan Warfield said;

“LGBTQI rights in Ireland are entering a new phase, our struggle post referendum and post Gender Recognition demands the priority of our young people.

“Government have paid lip service to trans young people under the age of 18, and the state has glaringly failed to recognise trans young people under the age of 16.

“We might grow up fast, but childhood can be the toughest stage of an LGBTQI+ experience. The state has a responsibility to protect our young people, to legally recognise the needs and identity of our young people, and importantly, to create space for self-determination as a right.

“In 2015, the LGBTQI+ community were promised a review of the Gender Recognition Act by 2017 – a review that can take up to 12 months.

“A three year time frame ensured that so many young people will leave childhood having never received recognition from the state, or self-determination.

“Sinn Féin have a proud record working alongside the trans community. In 2013, we published a Private Members’ Bill on Gender Recognition that offered a progressive, human-rights based approach for the legal recognition of trans people in Ireland.

“We remain committed to that activism, and of particular importance at this time – representation for trans young people.

“Trans young people cannot wait three years for a review of the Gender Recognition Act. Young people should be recognised legally, when they need it most!”