In Pictures: Hundreds march through Dublin city for the Second Annual Trans Pride Rally
Several hundred people marched in the Second Annual Trans Pride Rally in Dublin this afternoon.
Waving placards and chanting slogans, their colourful demonstration weaved its way through the drizzle from Parnell Square through O'Connell Street, Eden Quay, Customs House Quay, and Lombard Street to Merrion Square.
Organiser Thomas White used a megaphone to chant 'Trans rights under attack' to be answered by a chorus of marchers: 'Stand up, fight back.'
He told Independent.ie that he was happy that almost 1,000 people marched in support and solidarity in seeking recognition of trans gender rights.
He said healthcare for transgender people is completely inadequate in Ireland and needs to be improved urgently. People who identify as non-binary, in other words not seeing their identity as either male or female, need to have their gender recognition to be officially recognised.
He said it was also important for more Government action be taken to separate Church and State.
Helping to hold the leading banner, Ollie Bell (22) from Tallaght said transgender health care was very unsatisfactory. They said people seeking hormone therapy or surgery should not be made to feel that they have a mental illness.
People who identify as non-binary should have their own assessment of themselves accepted by healthcare professionals instead of having to face a barrage of questions about their sex lives and other matters, they said.
"People are having to wait up to three years just to be seen by a consultant," she said.
They said health services for trans gender people were "underfunded and under-staffed."
Sonia Kilasinska (40) was a striking figure near the front of the parade. Standing six feet three inches tall with an athletic build, she wore a pink mini-skirt outfit and carried two placards.
One placard stated she was a Trans photographic model, which she does for free in her spare time. The other declared: 'Real men respect trans women.'
"I came to Ireland from Poland 11 years ago. I work as a software engineer. I wear jeans to work and they are very good in their treatment of me," she said.
Cir Doyle (26) from Dublin said they were a member of Bi+Ireland which has 1,200 members. They said they had suffered a lot for identifying as non-binary.
"When I was in secondary school, some of the girls were brutal in not accepting who I was. The girls were intimidated by me. I was treated differently and I wasn't allowed to use the girls toilets. I was made to use the disabled toilets," they said.
They said people who identified as trans or non-binary were more susceptible to depression. They were grieving the loss of a trans friend who died by suicide last March.
"When I visit hospitals, the forms only have the male and female options. I put down female because it is less hassle but much more has to be done to change the system," they said.