A transsexual has won the right to have her Inter and Leaving Certificates [basically, high school diplomas] amended to reflect her new name. The woman who was registered at birth as male and suffers from Gender Identity Disorder changed her name by deed poll. For employment purposes she wanted her state examination certificates to reflect the gender with which she identifies.
The State Examinations Commission originally refused, however after she brought a complaint of discrimination under the Equal Status Act the case was settled.
Niall Crowley CEO of the Equality Authority said the case reflected an important breakthrough.
Hopefully, this will be the first step that leads eventually to legislative reform allowing Irish transsexuals to change their birth certificates.
I serve on the committee of an organization, the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI), that has been working with Niall Crowley and others to advance trans rights in Ireland.
On that note, wish me luck, Shakers. For the first time today, I gave a quote to a reporter as a TENI spokesperson, praising this decision. In doing so, I identified myself as a female-to-male transsexual.
The article is due to appear in tomorrow’s print edition of the Irish Independent. Which, it turns out, is Ireland’s best-selling daily newspaper. (I thought it was the second largest until I just checked on Wikipedia.) My workplace subscribes and there are always several copies laying around the office. I don’t know what sort of prominence or lack-of this article will be given, but I may have outed myself to everyone in my conservative, banking workplace.
I could’ve left my identity uncertain…and just said I was a TENI spokesperson. It’s not unusual in Ireland for non-LGBT people to work on LGBT issues. But I decided to come out, both to make a point to the reporter that I wasn’t ashamed or afraid. And to let him know that FtM’s exist.
I’m a bit nervous…On the other hand, as one co-worker who knows about me said, it’s possible I won’t even know if people read the article or not. The gossip may just race around the office behind my back without anyone saying a word to me.