Do you know the Irish for transgender?

New dictionary described as a defining moment for gender identity and gender expression in Ireland

 Photograph: iStockphoto

Photograph: iStockphoto

 

Have you ever wondered what Irish words to use when describing transgender, agender or cisgender orientations as Gaeilge?

An Foclóir Aiteach, a collaboration between the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), BelonG To Youth Services, and the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) is a new dictionary listing over 100 Irish words and terms for those wishing to appraise themselves of the constantly evolving gender vocabulary.

The dictionary, which will prove a useful resource for journalists, teachers and others in search of language to use when talking about gender orientation, was launched by USI Irish officer Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha in DCU on Wednesday and is available free of charge from the USI website.

Speaking at the launch, USI president Michael Kerrigan, said “We believe that everyone should be able to recognise themselves in any language, and that they would be able to describe themselves in any language.

“This new queer Irish language dictionary is a resource for members of the LGBTQA community by translating terminology into the Irish language, and a positive step forward for the Irish language to be part of people’s identities,” he added.

Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh whose department supported the publication said: “It is important to keep the language alive and there’s something nice about bringing it from the bottom up. I think it’s very clever, ’an-cliste’, way of doing it,” the minister said. “You are adding to the language, strengthening it. This kind of initiative does keep the language alive, and close to the heart.”

As the perception of gender being only binary and restricted to the two distinct forms of masculine and feminine has changed, so has the terminology used to describe sexual orientation.

Moninne Griffith, executive director of BeLonG To Youth Services said the new dictionary means members of the LGBTI+ community in Ireland will “no longer be stuck for words in our native language”.

”We now have words and phrases which allow individuals to express who they are, and how they identify, in a meaningful and accurate way.”

TENI board member Cearbhall Turraoin said the publication of ‘An Foclóir Aiteach’ is “a truly defining moment for gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation in Ireland”.

“In recent times, Ireland has developed a reputation as something of a world leader on LGBT rights, particularly with the introduction of marriage equality and our groundbreaking Gender Recognition Act. Yet how we express our identity as LGBT people and and how we express our Irish identity often seemed like separate, rather than intersecting, areas of Irish life,” he added.

“This list, which includes such terms as Trasinscneach (Transgender) and Neamh-dhénártha (Non-Binary), highlights the vibrancy and inclusivity of the Irish language for use in identifying and expressing ourselves.”

The dictionary features terms including: Agender - gan inscne, Bigender - Dá-inscneach, Demigender - Leath-inscnech, Genderqueer - Inscne-aiteach, and Transgender - Trasinscneach.

The dictionary can be downloaded here: http://usi.ie/focloir-aiteach/