I’m Ellen, a Northern Irish trans rights expert, community builder and cat lady. I’m Policy and Research Officer for Transgender Equality Network Ireland, founding Director of TransgenderNI, the founder and current committee member of GenderJam NI, and have been campaigning since April 2013 for the rights of trans & non-binary people in Northern Ireland.
I’m a public appointment to the UK Government’s first LGBT Advisory Panel as of 2019.
I led and directed the establishment of the first community centre for trans people and their families in the UK & Ireland, the Belfast Trans Resource Centre, and am working to bring similar venues to more cities.
My current focus is on bringing Northern Ireland trans rights into the context of international human rights work, and have worked at European Union and United Nations level to progress this.
A major passion of mine is accessible community building, and I’m working to bring welcoming, cohesive and easy-to-access community spaces, projects and activism to LGBTQ and trans communities across Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
I’m an experienced trainer and public speaker, and am available for certain public speaking gigs worldwide if you get in touch! I work across Northern Ireland, the island of Ireland, the UK and Europe, at all levels of engagement with organisations from small community groups up to groups in the European Parliament and pan-European bodies, and with the Special Procedures of the United Nations.
I’m currently funding my work through Patreon. I’m also available as a freelance consultant on trans inclusion and strategic policy relating to trans rights, and I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to work with me.
I ran in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections in May 2016 and March 2017 as the Green Party in Northern Ireland candidate for West Belfast.
I’m also a board member of Cara-Friend and a consultant on trans youth issues to several public and statutory sector bodies.
I’m physically disabled (chronic pain and fatigue condition), autistic and have a history of serious mental illness. I’ve found room in my life to get involved with disability advocacy communities also, and am particularly interested in the accessibility of community activism and public spaces.
My cat is much more well known than I am.
If you have any questions, or would like to comment at all, please use the social network links in the menus, or feel free to get in touch.