Postcolonial Dynamics in Pro- and Anti-Trans Activism in the United Kingdom and Ireland
This paper examines the postcolonial relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland through the lens of the discourse around transgender rights and anti-trans activism. This debate has spilled over from the social, political, and media spaces of the larger jurisdiction into that of the smaller and has provoked a backlash from grassroots Irish feminists who are outraged by trans exclusion. In return, organisations have sprung up in Ireland to protest against trans-inclusive law and policy, sparking debate over their provenance and membership. These debates have featured nationalist and postcolonial motifs including the Irish language and iconography of Irish revolutionaries, as well as the Suffragettes in Britain. As the two sides contest to be seen as the “true” Irish feminism, the paper concludes with an examination of the lives and work of the historical women invoked by both sides. In doing so, the paper attempts to refute the claims of anti-trans actors to an Irish tradition.
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