Legislation is set to be introduced in the Seanad in the coming weeks which will seek to ease the processes of gender recognition for Trans teenagers. The bill is proposed by Senator Fintan Warfield and won cross-party support and was co-signed by Independent Senator David Norris and Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan.
The amendment bill in question seeks to allow for self-determination for transgender teenagers at 16 and 17 and enables access to a legal pathway for transgender people under the age of 16 to recognise their true gender. The bill will also legally ensure that the rights of gender-fluid or non-binary persons are considered in a review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015.
The bill was launched on International Transgender Visibility Day, and speaking with the College Tribune, Senator Warfield said ‘the passing of the Gender Recognition Act in 2015 was a milestone for equality in this state. Gender Recognition has enhanced the lives of many in the trans community, of that there can be no doubt. However, the state in no way offers a pathway to legal gender recognition for citizens under the age of sixteen’.
‘The state in no way offers a pathway to legal gender recognition for citizens under the age of sixteen’ – Senator Warfield
Under current legislation, a person can only change their legal gender after the age of 18, and while gender recognition is available from the age of 16, it can only be done with a court order. Speaking to the College Tribune, incoming Welfare officer Eoghan Mac Domhnaill has said that while the Students’ Union doesn’t hold a position for the specific bill, they are ‘completely behind all campaigns aimed at gender equality, and that this will continue into the next term with the SU campaigning for the implementation of gender neutral bathrooms’. The bill is set to be tabled in the Seanad on May 10th at 2pm.
Oisin McCanna Politics Editor