Happy International Women’s Day to all women!

This includes poor women, rich women, women of colour, fat women, disabled women, trans-women and every other woman under the sun — you are valid, loved, and appreciated.

Trans-women existing in society today is seen as a direct act of rebellion in a cookie-cutter society that refuses to acknowledge their presence.

Bravery embodied, these people fight for the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled; to life, liberty, freedom of expression, the pursuit of happiness and equality before the law.

However, that is not always the case.

While simply presenting oneself in a way in which one feels comfortable is rarely meant to purposefully offend, a number of onlookers shun those for doing so, perpetuating a narrative of women equating to their genitalia instead of exploring and normalising the different ways women can – and do – exist.

To this day, trans-women continue fighting for their right to take up space in society, despite heterosexuality being a relatively young concept itself.

So, what can we do to help?

Learning, donating and volunteering, according to Sara R. Phillips, Chair of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)

TENI boast a wealth of knowledge between their combined members of staff and workshop teachers. Their website is full of helpful information and ways in which you could get knowledgable, donate money or even volunteer your time. 

Another group to focus your attention on to is BeLonG To.

Like many others of its ilk, BeLonG To relies on the support of donors, fundraisers and volunteers to ensure that their vital LGBTI+ youth service remains open.

"Growing up LGBTI+ can have harrowing effects on the mental health of our young people when they are not accepted," their website reads. "Unfortunately, LGBTI+ youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide, and two times more likely to self-harm than their counterparts."

However, choosing to support BeLonG To, through hosting an event, joining their team of volunteers, or making a donation would seriously help. 

Supporting couldn't be easier. Find out about how to do that here.

This International Women's Day, let's learn from the people who went before us and never shun others to the background again.  

READ MORE: Being Transgender In Ireland – An Explainer For Those Who Were Too Afraid To Ask

READ MORE: Not Done Yet: What Irish Women Are Still Fighting For This International Women’s Day