Amy does a Gender: 7 Months HRT

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Originally posted on Don't make me choose!:
After a while it’s barely worth thinking about anymore.  However, the thoughts will still persist.  Once trans hits, that’s it – you can forget at times, but it’s still going to bite,…

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Non-Binary Gender Recognition Challenge: How to Guide for Irish Gender Recognition Bill!

Today I received this letter from the Irish Client Identity Service, the governmental department that has been processing gender recognition applications in the Republic of Ireland since the Gender Recognition Bill was passed in September 2015.

Non-Binary Gender Recognition Certificate refusal letter

In my application for a Gender Recognition Certificate, I requested that my gender markers be amended to X and that my gender be recognised legally by the Irish state as non-binary. This letter states their refusal to do so. Although I knew this would happen, it is a necessary process on the road to a legal challenge of the Gender Recognition Bill to recognise non-binary gender.

The process by which I went about doing this is as follows:

  1. I changed my name by deed poll, which required the use of two forms available as templates on the High Courts Central Office website. The first form is a deed poll, which needs to be countersigned by a witness (i.e. someone other than the solicitor). You can also download the adult deed poll template here. The second form has to be signed by the solicitor and the person applying to have their name changed. It’s called the Affadavit of Attesting Witness form which you can download here. This HAS to be printed on deed paper (official yellow legal paper, which the solicitor had in their office). The cost of this was the solicitor’s fee, which was €40.
  2. I enrolled this deed poll in the Irish High Court using this form, submitted along with a copy of my birth certificate. I had to go in to the Irish High Courts in person as they required proof of identification, presented in person by the applicant. The cost of this was €60 stamp duty (along with transport to and from Dublin). This form can also be accessed on the High Courts Central Office website.
  3. I waited 1 month for my deed poll to be enrolled in the High Court, then I returned to the High Court to pick up my deed poll again, along with my birth certificate.
  4. I applied for a Gender Recognition Certificate using the GRC 1 Application Form, which I accessed from the Department of Social Protection’s website. Again, this form had to be witnessed by a solicitor. This time I went to a family friend so there was no cost involved, but otherwise it would have cost me the price of the solicitor’s fee (€40-€60).
    • This is the part that is pertinent to all non-binary applicants so READ ME!:
      • On the first half of Part One, they ask for Personal Details. For the preferred title, I put ‘Mx‘ under the ‘Other’ option. This is a personal choice, but it’s the most commonly used gender-neutral title in the English language.GRC Personal Details
      • Part Two is the Statutory Declaration. In order to request recognition of non-binary gender, I crossed out both ‘male/female’ options and hand wrote ‘non-binary with X gender marker‘ onto the form. This is the part that needs to be written in the presence of, and countersigned by, a solicitor (or peace commissioner/notary public/commissoner for oaths) so make sure to only fill this form out in the presence of the person witnessing your application!Statutory Declaration
  5. I sent this form to the Client Identity Services (CIS) at the following address along with a certified copy of my birth certificate and a certified copy of my deed poll (again, I got my deed polls ‘certified’ at the solicitor’s office at the same time as getting my GRC 1 form signed):
    • Client Identity Services
      Department of Social Protection
      Shannon Lodge
      Co. Leitrim
      N41 KD81
  6. I received the above response from the CIS exactly 1 month after sending off my application. It’s important to state that the CIS did NOT return my copy of my deed poll, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when applying. However, they did return my birth certificate.


  • If you’re not actually changing your name, then you don’t need to go through steps 1-3.
  • If you are changing your name, the only reason why steps 1-3 are necessary is because the Gender Recognition Certificate process requires you to have your deed poll enrolled in the high court – yet more bureaucracy and more financial cost placed upon trans people by the Irish government.
  • If you weren’t born in Ireland but you are resident here, you will ALSO need to provide proof of residency with your GRC 1 form.
  • When showing ID, I just used my passport/driving licence which are still in my old name. As long as I had my deed poll with me, I didn’t have any trouble with this.
  • Don’t expect them to recognise non-binary gender through this process. This is a means to an end – the more of us who go through this and get the letters back from the CIS refusing to recognise non-binary gender legally, the better chance we have at winning a court case against the Irish government!


I am currently looking for other Irish enbies/enbies resident in Ireland who are interested in having their gender legally recognised as non-binary with an X marker to JOIN ME in this challenge to the Irish government! You can contact me in the following ways:


twitter: @tirnanogender

facebook: Tirnanogender

I look forward to hearing from all you other enbies!



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Protected: A Recurrent Fantasy 

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Go Fund Me Campaign!

So I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but I wanted to ask my readers a favour. As you will know, I’m currently transitioning medically on the NHS. However, the waiting list for the endocrinologist to prescribe me low-dose testosterone is SO long that I’ve decided to go privately for my first appointment.

In order to see the endocrinologist privately, I have to pay £160 for the appointment and the prescription. I will be able to fill the prescription on the NHS so I just need to raise the £160 to see the endocrinologist and to pay for the script.  £150 is the fee and £10 is for the script.

Unfortunately I’m unemployed at the moment so this is outside of my budget, hence the go fund me campaign! Here’s the link to my Go Fund Me Campaign!

Any money that I raise over £160 will be donated to GenderJam NI, a fantastic trans youth group in Northern Ireland.

Although my appointment is this Thursday 24th March, I have until the end of this month (31st March) to raise this money.

Being able to go privately to get quicker access to hormones will mean the absolute world to me. I have been attending the gender identity clinic in Belfast since August 2014 and I just want to get on with my life now! If you can’t afford to donate any money, please share this campaign on your facebook or twitter account.

Thank you all so much! Much love! ❤



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A life I won’t need to escape from…


So, further to my A fork in the road… post, I have compiled this list of priorities in order to help me with my decision about which masters to pursue. Many thanks to my mum for basically giving me this list!

  • How do I want to live my life?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • In what way do I want to live?
  • Do I want to travel with work or outside of work?
  • Do I want to stay in one place?
  • What kind of hours do I want to work – 9 to 5 or flexible?
  • Would I prefer team work or individual work?
  • Can I work within a hierarchical structure?
  • Do I want promotion to be based on meritocracy?
  • Can I manage work politics?
  • Do I want to “climb the ladder”?
  • What sort of job opportunities do I want 5 years down the line?
  • What earning potential am I willing to live with?

I already know the answer to all of these questions. In an ideal world, this is how I’d like to live:

  • I want to live a life that allows me to take part in my many interests and passions: such as circus; trans rights activism; cooking from scratch; enjoying the sunshine; walking, hiking, cycling and camping; spending quality time with friends.
  • I want to live in Belfast. I honestly never thought I would say this, but I love this city, I love my friends here, I love that I’m close enough to home that I can hop on a bus and a train and be home in 5 hours.
  • I’d like to have the opportunity to travel with work to events, but I don’t want to have to move country to work. I’d prefer to have the option to travel on short or longer holidays rather than having to travel constantly with work.
  • I definitely want to stay in one place! (see above!)
  • I want to be able to work flexible hours with some sort of structure – I hate being restricted to ‘9-5’ hours and I would very quickly hate having to do this.
  • I’m not much of a team worker. I much prefer to work on my own – I hate relying on other people. However, I enjoy collaboration, with each individual being responsible for their own work, so there’s a balance to be had.
  • I absolutely CANNOT work within a hierarchical structure. I have always been this way – I struggled to make it through secondary school because of this! – and I despised this aspect of the television industry in particular.
  • OK, obviously everyone would love for promotion to be based on meritocracy, so my answer to this is yes. The reason I ask this question is really to lead into the next one…
  • I absolutely 110% CANNOT manage work politics. I am blunt, honest to a fault, incapable of understanding politics in the work place and definitely unable to work within a structure that requires an understanding of politics. So the answer to this is NO!
  • I definitely want to be able to “move up in the world” in terms of improving my skills and earning potential, but the idea of moving ‘up the ladder’ from one step to the next kills me. It kills my drive, it kills my creative energy, it kills my spirit. So no, I do not want to and cannot bring myself to ‘climb the ladder’
  • The type of job opportunities I’d like 5 years down the line is to be paid for my expertise, whatever that may be. Fairly vague thus far. I need to think on this.
  • Deciding how little income I’m willing to live with is a difficult one. I don’t live an expensive life. I don’t mind living on less, but I don’t want to get to 5 years from now and still be in the same position I’m in at the moment regarding money. I hate being skint. I want to be able to afford to pay a personal trainer once in a while, or to go away for weekends to do aerial circus or acrobatics training. I want to be able to afford travelling – I don’t mind travelling on a budget, but even a budget requires a fair amount of money for flights, accommodation, food, activities etc. I can’t really put a figure on this, but considering I have no interest in ever having a family, it means I can live on a lot less that someone who did want a family. More thought required on this too.

When I asked my mum what she thought, her response was “you know I can’t tell you what choice to make!” I knew she’d say this, so I asked her “what choice do you think would suit me better” and her response was “if money was no object, the choice would be an obvious one.”

I’m still thinking it all over, and more research is required, so again – any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed!


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When people ask me to explain non-binary gender to them, I don’t know what to say. Usually I respond with “neither male nor female”, but when people ask me to elaborate, I don’t really know what to say. Conversely, I don’t understand what it means to be male or to be female. I reckon if I asked most people to explain their male gender or their female gender, they would be just as stumped as I am when trying to explain my non-binary gender.

I know this isn’t a profound thought, but it seems important to write it down. My frustration with the world – even the “LGBT world” – is that everyone assumes other people’s gender based on their appearance. This means that I get gendered female in public. AGH!!!! Even in supposedly “trans-inclusive” circles, I get misgendered. I get called love, she, her and I LITERALLY want to bang my head against a brick wall and SCREAM!

The most infuriating thing about it all is that there’s nothing I can really do about this. Tonight I was volunteering at a fundraising event and at one point I just thought “I’m going to get a t-shirt and a badge AND a headband that say “I am non-binary. Use gender-neutral language when referring to me” and wear them for the rest of my life when in public. It’s actually the only solution. I’m dead serious about this. I’ve never really considered walking around with my gender written all over me, but there just seems to be no other way. I have TRIED every other way, and it just doesn’t work. People see me and they see female. I fucking HATE it!

Clearly, I am quite irritated right now, but I had to write this out. I want to scream, but instead I lie in bed, listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter and trying to find a way to calm myself down. I have too much clarity at the moment, and I don’t like what I’m seeing.


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A fork in the road…


I’m having a crisis of sorts at the moment – although perhaps crisis is a slight exaggeration – but I’m at what I consider to be a rather significant fork in the road and I don’t know which path to take.

I have decided to go back to university to pursue a masters, but I don’t know which masters to take. There are two options that I’m considering:

Option 1: MSc in Software Development at Queens University, Belfast

Option 2: MRes in Arts in the Drama department focusing on Gender & Performance at Ulster University, Magee Campus, Derry

The first option leads to a specified career path with clear earning potential, the opportunity to work abroad if desired and the ability to pay back my loans within a few years.

The second option leads to a PhD with the opportunity to further research in the area of gender and performance with a focus on non-binary gender narratives and transgender bodies.

It’s basically a choice between my head and my heart. There are a lot of considerations, such as: where do I want to be in a few years time? Is money important to me? Can I pursue performance around gender outside of academia and if so, is there a benefit to doing this within a university setting?

Other considerations are around funding options and career options, such as: do I want to spend the rest of my life researching gender and performance? Can I obtain funding to do so? Is it more important to have a job I love than a job that pays? Can I love software development? Can I combine the two (e.g. software development with a focus on furthering trans rights?)

There are so many questions and so few answers, so I’ve decided to chat to a few friends who have done or are doing a PhD on similar research topics. I think I’m going to apply for both options anyway and make a decision further down the line (in a few months) but it’s a hard choice. Part of me wants to work towards furthering mainstream understanding of gender outside of the binary, and part of me just wants to live my life and not spend all my time focusing on gender issues.

I know that I’m frustrated with being poor – this was my original motivation for considering the MSc in Software Development. I also know that I have an internal drive to change the world – it’s something that I’ve always had within me from a young age, and my desire for social justice has influenced a lot of my past choices. I decided to pursue media studies for my undergraduate studies because I saw how the media misrepresented minorities and I wanted to change that from within.

But I turn 30 this year. I still have a lot of debts, I don’t have a clear career path at the moment, I have very little earning potential at the moment and I’m so tired of having to fight tooth and nail to get a job to pays the bills. I’m tired of being poor. I have also realised that I really struggle with the requirements for being a freelance worker. Working freelance requires a lot of self-promotion, a lot of initiating contact with potential employers, a lot of uncertainty around future earnings – all the things, in short, that are required to be a good salesperson. And I DETEST sales!!!!! I really, really, REALLY abhor selling myself to people. I enjoy the work of being a video editor, but I cannot hack the pressure of constantly having to put myself out there. I am much more introverted than I appear, and I hate asking people for things.

So here’s the cinch: following my passions will require applying for funding, pitching my projects to strangers, selling myself to others in the hope of being paid to do research. The question is, can I do this? I’m already exhausted from the past year of working freelance – can I continue to go down this path?

If anyone has any thoughts on this, feel free to leave a comment – all advice is welcomed!

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