Statement by Labour LGBT on the RTÉ PrimeTime programme airing this evening on Trans Youth.

22 January 2019

Labour LGBT are concerned the producers of the RTÉ PrimeTime programme airing this evening have decided to go ahead with a programme on Trans Youth, despite the clear calls not to do so by those who are directly concerned with the welfare of young Trans people and their families in Ireland. Labour LGBT believes the programme makers have failed in their duty of care to consider the impact of the programme’s promotion has already had on young Trans people.

Co-chair of Labour LGBT, Karl Hayden, said:

“The PrimeTime Producers seem to believe Trans issues, and in particular Trans Youth issues, are something new. In fact these complex issues have been under discussion for many years. In 2015 legislation was brought forward as a first step to give recognition to people who identify as Trans. With that in mind the legislation allowed for a review period after two years from the commencement of the Act so the impact of the legislation could be examined and where necessary amendments be made.

This process was announced on 3 November 2017 by Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, commenced in 8 January and ended on the 5th February 2018. A total of 92 submissions were received by the review group. Having considered the submissions to the review group a set of recommendations were made to the Minister on 15 June 2018.

In its recommendations the review group sought to extend the scope of the 2015 Act to provide for young people who self-identify as Trans and to provide a mechanism by which young Trans people can be legally recognised in documentation. No other recommendations regarding life changing medical interventions were recommended.

It is questionable as to why the producers have chosen now to make the programme. A public process and consultation was entered into over a seven month period and on the basis of that public process a set of recommendations were made to the Minister. If the producers believed this issue was worth featuring in their programme, why not do it at the time of the public consultation?”

Labour LGBT believes the programme is ill-conceived in it’s format and lacks any understanding of the impact the programme will have on Trans Youth and their families. Such complex issues cannot be addressed in a set of pre-recorded interviews done in isolation to each other, which lack context or tone. It leaves those organisations who care for the ongoing welfare of Trans Youth, Trans Adults and their families having to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of that programme being aired.

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