Yesterday the Chairperson and Secretary of Focus:The Identity Trust were honoured to be invited by
Martina Anderson MEP (our Sinn Fein European representative in the North of Ireland)
To celebrate with her and the other three Sinn Fein MEPs in the South of Ireland who nominated Dr Lydia Foy European Citizen of the year 2015.
Lydia struggled for 20 years to have the Irish Government recognise her true gender on her birth certificate.
In her address her joy was both obvious and truly moving,
But Lydia doesn’t dwell on the negative for too long and she picked up her harmonica (presented to her by Martina for Focus: The identity Trust on behalf of all Transgender and Intersex individuals in the North) and played a few tunes it was indeed a time to party…. for now.
Together with Martina the other MEPs Matt Carthy MEP Liadh Ni Riada MEP and Lynn Boylan MEP (who hosted the event in the National Gallery Dublin) elevated the issues of Transgender and Intersex individuals on the Island of Ireland to a European Stage.
Throughout Dr Foy’s legal proceedings she was represented by the legal human rights group Free Legal Advice Centres Ireland (FLAC).Michael Farrell, FLAC Senior Solicitor, credits Dr Foy for the implementation of the Gender Recognition Act.
“Without her long and painful struggle, another generation of transgender people would have to endure the hardship, fear and lack of understanding that Lydia’s generation experienced, before they could be recognised and respected as equal citizens in this country,” he said.
Today the future looks brighter and as an organisation we feel encouraged to fight on for Equality and Human Rights for all.
Focus:The Identity trust is confident that there will be many more days like this to celebrate in the near future and that we will continue to play a key role in ensuring this.