I’m a trans man in a country where self-ID is a reality. The sky hasn’t fallen in

As is the normal fact all the sky is falling from all the claims of what horrible things will happen from accepting gay people or trans people never happen, yet these same people making these claims never apologies and admit they were wrong when the horrible shit they predicted never happened.     I say this because in the US these anti-gay people claimed all the horrible effects from recognizing the fact that gay people exist will destroy the country.  But that did not happen.  So the anti LGBTQ+ people then said letting gays marry legally would destroy the country / society, but again that did not happen.   In fact different countries have had legal gay marriage for over 20 years and the Christian god has not destroyed the world.   Plus in the US same sex marriage has been legal country wide since 2015!   Yet no country destroying events not already underway due to climate change and republican obstruction to make a decent country has happened.   Yet again no republican or religious leaders have every admitted they were wrong.  They keep repeating all their dire warnings with no proof and withholding the information that they things they are claiming are the key to their go destroying the nation has already been here a long time.   I am 60 years old.  Ron and I promised ourselves to each other 33 years ago and there were many others before us who did so longer than we have.   Yet these god thumpers that want to force the country to follow their view fail to point out that their god never acted to stop that.   Why would a supreme power deity need to depend on a religious leader demanding money to accomplish its goal?   I am not going to colorize this one, sorry.   I recently got up and Ron just came over and told me I am looking very bad and need to go to bed.   We argued about it, but I am now so tired I may do so after refusing just on principle.   I hate being told what I should do.  I was in too much pain to eat tonight and now Ron is hovering over me to force me to bed.     Hugs


On the left is a picture of Ruadhán Ó Críodáin, a trans man, wearing a cap and a white t-shirt outdoors in a sunny location. On the right, Ruadhán is pictured outside a Dublin restaurant holding his Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) application.

One day in December, Ruadhán Ó Críodáin applied for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) over noodles in a Dublin restaurant. Eight days later, it arrived.


That’s because in Ireland trans people can self-declare their own gender under the Gender Recognition Act 2015. There’s no need for a medical diagnosis or doctor’s reports, nor is there a panel of experts who get to decide if you are who you say you are.

Instead, trans people simply fill out a form, have it witnessed by a solicitor or another official, send it to the government, and wait to receive their GRC in the post.

“It was pretty simple for me,” Ruadhán tells PinkNews. “I was very fortunate in that I have a friend who works as a solicitor who was willing to come and witness it for me, for free. She witnessed and signed the document, but also – helpfully – walked me through it so I knew exactly what to fill out and where, and so that I understood everything on the form.” 

Self-ID, as it’s often known, has been a quiet, everyday reality for trans people in Ireland for more than seven years. And as Ruadhán points out, “the sky hasn’t fallen in”.

None of the baseless fearmongering pushed by those who describe themselves as “gender critical” has come to pass. Instead, all self-ID has done is make the legal system a little bit more compassionate.
Ruadhán Ó Críodáin, executive director of ShoutOut, an Irish LGBTQ+ charity. He is pictured wearing a green shirt and a black t-shirt with a gold chain around his neck. he is standing against a dark red background.
Ruadhán Ó Críodáin, executive director of ShoutOut, an Irish LGBTQ+ charity. (Supplied)

Living in a country with a simplified gender recognition process means “nothing and everything all at once” to Ruadhán. The whole thing was “a bit of an afterthought” to him when compared to the more complicated aspects of transitioning, such as coming out and navigating Ireland’s “mess” of a healthcare system.

But it’s also true that having self-ID was exactly the reason getting a GRC wasn’t much of a concern – he knew it would be straightforward.

“It was pretty emotional when the certificate came in the post. It felt like a huge relief,” he says.

“I’m really grateful to live in a country where it is so easy, and I know it’s all thanks to the long, lonely battle of Dr Lydia Foy [a trans woman who fought for 20 years for the legislation] and her fellow activists.

“We’d be tempted to pat ourselves on the back for that here in Ireland but Dr Foy fought 23 years for this legislation. Every trans person here who gets a GRC only has one thanks to her.”

UK gender recognition process is ‘paternalistic and unfair’

Still, Ruadhán knows how lucky he is when he looks at the UK, where anti-trans figures often baselessly claim introducing self-identification would put women and girls in danger.

The culture war reached a fever pitch in December when the Scottish government passed its own reforms to the Gender Recognition Act to ensure trans Scots could self-declare their own gender.

The UK government swiftly invoked Section 35 of the Scotland Act to stop the bill going for royal assent. Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to challenge the decision in court, and the row seems certain to fuel the devolution movement.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon wears a blue jacket as she stands at a podium during a press conference
First minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to fight back after the UK government decided to block Scotland’s gender reform bill from becoming law. (Getty)

Watching on from Ireland, Ruadhán can’t help but feel angry. 

“I’m devastated to see the UK government has decided to block it. It’s infuriating on a political level to see the UK government interfere with Scottish political autonomy for a bill which would affect such a tiny community, and to further fan the flames on this ridiculous debate,” he says.

Ruadhán adds: “The current process for getting a GRC in the UK is brutally paternalistic and unfair.

“Why should a panel of strangers decide if you deserve a GRC or not? Why make someone go through two years of social transition before being eligible? Why is a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or proof of surgery needed? 

“Trans people are the authorities in our own gender. We know who we are. Transition is already difficult enough without adding further barriers. And crucially, being trans isn’t an illness.”

Ruadhán Ó Críodáin with a giant "R" balloon in a bar.
Ruadhán Ó Críodáin with a giant “R” balloon. (Supplied)

Self-ID should be seen as a basic human right – Ruadhán just wishes all trans people were trusted to know who they are.

“I’m grateful for my GRC, and how easy it was to obtain, but I’m also entitled to it.

“No politician, no legislator, no change in public opinion, can take it away from me. This is who I am, and I shouldn’t be expected to live any other way.”

2 thoughts on “I’m a trans man in a country where self-ID is a reality. The sky hasn’t fallen in

  1. Both and each of you, rest well tonight.
    Also, not to be a harping harpy, but ya gotta feed the machine. (Can you tell my DH is ill right now, too?) 🖖🖖💖🖖🖖


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