Una Mullally: It’s not just Graham Linehan who needs to engage in some soul-searching

RTÉ needlessly imported a mean-spirited trans debate from the UK

Supporters and members of the transgender community outside the  RTÉ studios last week protesting over the broadcast of a “Prime Time” interview with  Graham Linehan. Photograph: Tom Honan

Supporters and members of the transgender community outside the RTÉ studios last week protesting over the broadcast of a “Prime Time” interview with Graham Linehan. Photograph: Tom Honan

One of the great mysteries of Twitter “discourse” (read: arguing) is why the television writer Graham Linehan tweets obsessively about trans issues. If you’ve missed this, lucky you. For some reason, Linehan has made this his issue, and has fallen down a rabbit hole with all the predictable tropes of a moral panic.

It’s been a long, hard slog avoiding and ignoring Linehan’s head-shaking points of view on this topic, but the coalescence of a debate in the UK as part of their gender recognition Act reform has given it legs. In Ireland, we have a gender recognition Act. Any person over 18 can self-determine their gender without medical intervention. A review of the Act recommends that a system of gender recognition be introduced for children with parental consent, and that gender recognition be introduced for people who identify as non-binary (meaning genders that fall outside the male/female binary.) Most people have probably not spent a lot of time thinking about this because they or their family members are not trans or gender-questioning. We have not experienced a divisive debate in Ireland on trans issues. This is not an oversight. On gender, we are culturally different to the UK, and have embarked upon a more sophisticated, democratic and empathic conversation about all things LGBT in recent years. Go us.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.