3 mins


The wonderful people involved in the group Mammies For Trans Rights tell us the story of their foundation and why they do what they do for their children. After all, in their own words, “In our houses, they are not ‘trans kids’, they are simply, our kids.”

Last February, beautiful 16 year-old trans girl Brianna Ghey was brutally murdered in broad daylight in her local park in England, and the heart of every parent of a trans kid stopped. In that moment, as a parent, you think, ‘How do I keep my kid safe and alive? Do I keep them at home? Do I tell them to hide themselves? Or do I go into the world and try to make it safer for them?’

And that’s how the Mammies for Trans Rights began. It started out as three mammies wanting to do something to support their own kids, and now there are groups of Mammies marching in almost every Pride event on the island of Ireland, often with two or three groups marching in different towns at the same time. Mams, dads, grans, grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbours, colleagues – everyone joined us to march this year to show all our kids that they are safe and loved.

Fear and grief brought us together, but what keeps us going is love, solidarity, community and friendship. In the wake of the Dublin riots, that has never felt more important.

We are not interested in discussing trans peoples’ existence – we know they exist, we gave birth to them, and they are our gorgeous babies grown into wonderful kids and young adults. They are funny and clever and kind, and we embarrass and annoy them terribly.

They roll their eyes at us and tell us we are cringe. They cry when someone breaks their hearts or they have a falling out with their friends. In our houses, they are not ‘trans kids’, they are simply, our kids.

It’s important to say also that not all our kids are in crisis. Lots of kids are very clear and grounded in who they are and the crisis lies only in getting them appropriate medical support.

Others are comfortable in the space of social transition while they learn to navigate the world as their new selves. Not all choose puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or surgery. But many do. There are as many experiences as there are trans people because, of course, no two people are the same.

We do enormous damage as a society to our young people when we do not allow them to safely explore the world and themselves. Recently published US census data shows that about 2 percent of the population is Intersex, 3 percent trans and 5 percent non-binary. Gen Z and Gen A are issuing a challenge to the old gender order. This challenge forces us to look closely at the extent to which we treat people differently depending on their gender.

Very tellingly, this idea is causing a lot of distress among those for whom equality has always been a struggle. The norms of the old gender order are so deeply embedded that sometimes even those who are oppressed and dehumanised by the old system fight to keep it.

And so we find ourselves in a moral panic of increasing vitriol and hysteria. Groups are storming libraries and bookshops because they don’t want LGBTQIA+ kids having access to information about themselves. The school curriculum is being challenged by religious groups. This is all happening as part of the increasing rise in extremist groups in Ireland and around the world, and unscrupulous politicians and bad faith actors are eager to cash in on this period of great uncertainty. Wars, pandemics, environmental collapse and genocides are making the world feel like a profoundly unsafe place right now and history shows that, at times like these, small vulnerable groups become scapegoats for our collective fear and unease.

When the Mammies march, we are marching to counter that. We march for all the kids who need a mammy to tell them that they’re wonderful. We march for all the parents out there who are terrorised by the misinformation being spread. We march because we want everyone’s child to be allowed to make decisions about themselves in safety and privacy. And finally, we march to remind people that, even if it takes a while, love always wins and that we will get there together.

Happiest Christmas wishes from all the Mammies xxx

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Welcome, dear reader, to the last issue of GCN magazine for 2023.
2023 was yet another fantastic year in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights across the world. Ethan Moser shares a month-by-month breakdown of GCN’s biggest news stories over an epic 365 days.
Inside SLM
In our ongoing coverage of the founding members of Ireland’s first Sexual Liberation Movement, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we’ve focused on founding members who were instrumental in enacting meaningful change for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community.
Following on from our announcement of the new NXF strategy for the next three years, in this issue we are highlighting the Fundraising and Sustainability working group.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Sexual Liberation Movement, commonly recognised as the start of modern LGBTQ+ activism in Ireland. Since then, the country has experienced a seismic shift in the legal rights afforded to the LGBTQ+ community and the acceptance and visibility of queer culture.
From Crisis to Collective Strength
Following the horrific incident in Dublin on Thursday, November 23, our hearts are with those who have been attacked, their families, friends, the school community at Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, witnesses, first responders, and anyone else who has been affected.
Midlands LGBT+ Project is designed to support and provide spaces for LGBTQ+ adults in the Midlands. The fine folk involved share all the amazing services they have to offer the community and share what you can do to help keep the service running.
The wonderful people involved in the group Mammies For Trans Rights tell us the story of their foundation and why they do what they do for their children. After all, in their own words, “In our houses, they are not ‘trans kids’, they are simply, our kids.”
STAY MERRY AND SAFE: Minding our Sexual Health this Christmas and New Year
As the holiday season approaches, it’s vital not to overlook our sexual health.
After Hamas fighters launched an attack on Israel on October 7 this year, where more than 1,200 people were reported killed and around 240 others taken hostage, Israel unleashed an air and ground military campaign on Gaza, killing more than 17,000 Palestinian people (at the time of writing), according to figures shared by the Gaza Health Ministry. Now, the whole world is focused on what is happening in Palestine, with the issue of LGBTQ+ people often coming into the discussion.
At the recent Rainbow Ball, the fundraising night for the LGBTQ+ youth organisation Belong To, one brave young person took to the stage before those assembled. In words both empowering and heartbreaking, they told their story of coming out, proving the necessity of supporting our youth in every way we can. We share here their words.
The Glant
On November 14, 2023, Ireland’s longest-serving senator, David Norris, announced his retirement after 36 years of outstanding service. Known affectionately as the ‘Father of the Seanad’, the 79 year-old leaves behind a remarkable career, throughout which he broke new ground for the country’s LGBTQ+ community.
Younger members of Dublin’s LGBTQ+ community might assume that an institution like PantiBar has been around forever. However, the iconic pub only opened 16 years ago. That hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most beloved go-to venues and hubs for members of the capital’s queer community.
A place of learning
For decades, college has been portrayed as a hotspot of new experiences, freedom of expression and a place to figure out who you are… along with attending classes every so often. But how accepting are colleges across Ireland of the LGBTQ+ community and how do queer people feel about expressing their identities on campus?
PRIDE & PREJUDICE: The Hidden Struggle of LGBTQ+ Homelessness
In October and November, 1 in 10 individuals reaching out to Outhouse for support faced homelessness or were at risk of it.
As an avid ally of the queer community, Aarya Bhutani has had the privilege of experiencing the dynamics of queer spaces in both Ireland and India. Moving to Dublin two years ago to pursue her master’s degree, she left her home country behind. She describes a journey that has been more than just academic, but a profound experience of personal growth
What is it about queer people and our collections? From Punko Pop figures to Barbies, Lego to action figurines, LGBTQ+ people have long been avid collectors of what many would deem mere toys. But is there a deeper meaning behind the things we save, the things we love? Chris Rooke talks to queer collectors while at the same time sharing his own tiny loves.
Listings Organisations Supports
Listings Organisations Supports
For those who love it, it can seem that the whole year is just one big build up to Christmas. Yet for many LGBTQ+ people, it is far from a cause for celebration. Ethan Moser recounts his own experiences and takes a closer look at what the festive season can mean for queer people.
We’ve had a busy year in LINC, marked by the completion of our strategic plan and the successful organisation of the first Queer Women’s National Sexual Health and Wellbeing conference – Q Con.
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