Express YOUR Gender is committed to making social and economic life fully accessible to the transgender community in Ireland, through the provision of speech and language therapy and career development training and support.
Imagine being afraid to speak because your voice leads people to discriminate against you. This is the experience for many of the 46,000 transgender people in Ireland. Transgender people’s voices can often lead them to be ‘outed’, making job interviews, casual conversations – and even laughing out loud - high-risk activities. As a group, transgender people experience elevated rates of suicide and depression, with almost 80% having considered taking their own lives. In addition they experience significant barriers to employment, with 49% unable to find a job. Despite recent progress for the transgender community, such as the Gender Recognition Bill, everyday life for many transgender people in Ireland is still an unsafe and isolating experience.
Upon witnessing the pain and frustration experienced by the transgender community, speech and language therapist Rachel Moore established Express YOUR Gender – an organisation committed to making social and economic life fully accessible to the transgender community in Ireland. Through its affordable speech and language therapy and career development programmes, “Confident Voices” and “Authentic Careers”, Express YOUR Gender is helping clients to achieve satisfaction in their voice and improve their career prospects, leading to a better quality of life. Having worked clinically with the transgender community for four years, Rachel understood what she saw as preventable human suffering and chose to implement positive change through profound, yet practical, action.
After 250 hours of voice therapy with more than 50 transgender clients, clinical evaluation, including acoustic measurements, indicates significantly improved communicative confidence. The Authentic Careers pilot saw 71% of participants going on to attend job interviews and 100% reporting feeling more empowered to attend job interviews. Along with direct service delivery, Rachel desires societal change. She hopes to support other speech and language therapists working with transgender clients, while also inviting the wider public to engage with the topic of gender through creative and educational events and services. Uniquely placed as Ireland’s only organisation providing these dedicated services to the transgender community, Express YOUR Gender has the opportunity to scale and impact the lives of tens of thousands of people in Ireland, ensuring that support is given to all those confident voices in Ireland, just waiting to be heard.