What is this education programme? Who is it for? And how do I use it?

This is an online education programme aimed at supporting adult family members of transgender young people (less than 18 years of age) in the Republic of Ireland. Please watch the ‘welcome message’ and ‘how to use’ videos on the ‘Before you begin’ page for more information on how to use this programme.

Who has developed this education programme?

A number of different groups and individuals contributed to this education programme and its development, including Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), BeLonG To Youth Services, TransParenCI, and the TransFormers and IndividualiTy young transgender people’s group. Family members and transgender young people were consulted throughout the development of the programme. They generously offered their ideas, evaluated the content, and reviewed the overall programme.

This education programme was developed as part of a PhD study in Trinity College Dublin, School of Nursing & Midwifery by Danika Sharek, under the supervision and with the support of Dr. Edward McCann and Sylvia Huntley-Moore. Danika identifies as a cisgender female. She is a social researcher with a focus on gender and sexuality issues, mental health, and family education. She holds an M.Sc. in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A. in in Sociology from Boston College. Danika moved to Dublin in 2008 from the United States and has since become an Irish citizen.

Why was this education programme developed?

This education programme was developed as research has shown that access to education and information is important for families of transgender young people in their ability to help accept and support them. Within the Republic of Ireland, there is a lack of coordinated education for these families, and so Danika got the idea to try and put together an information and education resource to try and help families to support themselves and their transgender family member. Danika’s interest in the project was not just academic; she is driven by a desire to help others through her work.

Does this education programme have funding? E.g. who is paying for it?

As part of her PhD study, Danika received funding from the Irish Research Council. All of the groups named previously, including the professionals, family members, and young people, who contributed to this programme did so of their own generosity. No payments were made to them.

Does this education programme have ethical approval?

Yes, as part of her PhD study, Danika received ethical approval to develop this education programme from the Trinity College Dublin Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

What if I am a sibling of a transgender person?

Sibling relationships are unique and special. They vary depending upon a lot of different things. For instance, whether a sibling is older or younger or a brother or a sister or how similar or different the siblings may be. Like all members of the family, when a family member has a new gender identity or expression, this is a big change not only for that family member but the whole family. When a sibling transitions to a new gender identity or gender expression, this can cause special challenges in the sibling relationship. For more information for siblings, please refer to the information below:

18+ years of age: For siblings 18 and over, it is recommended that you review the materials in this education programme. It is also recommended that you get in touch with TransParenCI through TENI at 01 873 3575. They have a special group just for siblings where you will be able to talk about how you are feeling and what this whole change means for you.

17 years or younger: For siblings under 17, it is recommended that you get in touch with TransParenCI through TENI at 01 873 3575. The people in this group are specially trained at working with young people and can provide the support you need.

How can I get additional information and support?

For additional information and support, please contact TENI at 01 873 3575.

How can I learn more about this education programme?

To learn more, please contact TENI at 01 873 3575.