September 14th, 2011

Louise Hannon

An open letter to Brian Walsh TD.

Dear Brian Walsh TD.,

Regarding your ill informed comments today recorded by Fiona Gartland in the Irish Times regarding transgender treatment and costs. The cost of surgery is not for cosmetic purposes, far from it. Being transgender is not a lifestyle choice as you are reported to think. It is a life and death clinical condition which is widely accepted and treated in every developed country in the world.

If Ireland was to cut funding for transgender people, there would be more suicides, more families ruined. We would be the only country in Europe who would be denying medical treatment for a recognised medical condition. Is that what you want?

By giving treatment we allow people to become productive members of society paying taxes and leading fulfilling lives. By denying treatment we force people to become a burden on society on social welfare.

Do we allow politicians like yourself to decide who is treated on the basis of ill informed transphobic prejudice. Where would that stop? Would we deny treatment to children who are born with physical defects which can be fixed by surgery. Would we deny a lung transplant to an addicted smoker or a liver transplant to an alcoholic? You need to become educated. I doubt that you have probably never met a transgendered person in your life.

Finally I'm disgusted that you have the stupidity to make transphobic comments without any obvious knowledge of the condition whatsoever. Do you do this on other serious subjects?


Louise Hannon