Members of UCD LGBTQ+ Society stood alongside dozens of other demonstrators last week to protest the appearance of Graham Linehan on RTE’s PrimeTime programme on Transgender Issues. Linehan, who is most known for his work on popular TV shows such as Father Ted and The IT Crowd, was due to take part in a ten-person panel discussion on the show last Wednesday. He has been outspoken in his opposition to Transgender people claiming that they are erasing cis lesbians.
Linehan has been subject to a verbal warning by police in the UK following reports of the harassment of transgender activists by Linehan.
Protestors outside RTE objected to his appearance on the panel as they argued he was unqualified to speak on the topic. Numerous complaints have been made to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the majority of which repeat the claim that he is an unqualified person to give his opinion on this topic.
RTE said in a statement that ‘The programme examines the exponential growth in the number of young people seeking to change gender and the implications of the proposed new law allowing them to do so without their parents’ consent’. The laws being referenced here are proposals being made under a two-year review of the 2015 Gender Recognition Act. Under the existing 2015 legislation, anyone over the age of 18 can self declare their gender. People aged between 16 and 18 are also able to apply to have their change of gender legally recognised, but the process is more difficult are requires a parent to complete.
Of the organisers of the protest Noah Halpin, founder of the This is Me transgender healthcare campaign speaking to reporters at the event said ‘No one is more expert in trans lives than trans people. This conversation must include trans people and those with educated experience in subjects relating to trans identities’. He lamented both Linehan presence on the show and the lack of transgender voices on the Primetime panel.
By Aaron Bowman – CoEditor