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Recently we have seen an increase in global conversations relating to the trans community and trans rights. While some of these conversations seek to communicate and educate wider society on the topic, sadly many of them are intrinsically linked with growing levels of transphobia at international, national and local levels. The past few months in Ireland have witnessed a growing number of phobic attacks towards the LGBTQ community with transphobia being highlighted. From Netflix comedy specials to coverage by national newspapers as well as festivals such as the Rose of Tralee, the trans community has been subjected to a more pronounced public discourse around their identity and experiences, more commonly being the subject of discussion rather than actually spoken to about it.

For this Culture Jam, we wanted to understand what is the conversation and experience of trans individuals within Irish society. To help us understand this topic more, we were joined by LGBTQ activist and author Philippa Ryder (she/her) and trans rights activist Sam Blanckensee (they/he), two figures within this space who continue to further the public discourse around the trans experience in Ireland. Throughout the conversation we discussed what transphobia and transphobic behaviour can look like and how it has evolved in recent times, the inherent ‘publicness’ of the trans experience, the idea of diversity and intersectionality in advertising and how the ‘token straight friend’ may be closer to the truth than the ‘token LGBTQ friend’. Listen above to hear some of the conversation.

“As long as the person is living their own life, living their true life – that’s all we want as trans people.”

- Philippa Ryder

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