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Sexual Orientation


Trinity is proud of its LGBT-inclusive culture - if you come here as an LGBT student or staff member you can expect a warm welcome and equal treatment

("LGBT" is used on this page as it is the most commonly understood acronym; this is not intended to conflate gender identity with sexual orientation or to disrespect other sexual orientations)

Staff Network

Trinity staff have founded an LGBT Network in 2016, as covered by an article in the University Times. New members are always welcome: interested staff are warmly invited to contact for more information, or you can visit the network website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Student Groups

Q Soc is Trinity’s LGBT Society. It’s open to all students of any sexual orientation or gender identity wanting to socialise with others interested in queer society and politics. Find out more from their website and Facebook page!

Both the Students' Union and the Graduate Students' Union advocate for the rights of LGBT students, at a university and a national level. The Students' Union has a dedicated LGBT Rights Officer who can be contacted at


The LGBT Staff Network and QSoc hold regular events throughout the year.

Rainbow Week is a campus-wide "banner week" jointly organised by QSoc and the Students' Union, held in late January. Each year they put on a wide range of events for students and staff, celebrating diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Workplace Equality Index

In GLEN's Workplace Equality Index, Trinity is honoured to have won a Special Recognition Award for trans inclusion (2015) and to have been named Public Sector Employer of the Year (2016). Trinity is one of the Top Ten Places to Work for LGBT Equality according to the 2016 Index.

Policy and Strategy

The Equality Policy and the Dignity and Respect Policy protect all members of the University community from discrimination, bullying and harassment; this includes discrimination, bullying and/or harassment relating to sexual orientation. Don't hesitate to contact the Equality Officer or the Dignity and Respect Contact Persons (listed in the policy) for advice on these matters.

Trinity has a comprehensive Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy which is discussed in the Gender webpage.

Reports and Statistics

Some data relating to sexual orientation of recruitment applicants and appointees is presented in the most recent Annual Equality Monitoring Report. Trinity's results in the GLEN Workplace Equality Index are published (under "External Reports"). Trinity has also been involved in producing reports on LGBT experiences at the national level:

Legal Protections

The Employment Equality Act outlaws discrimination within employment related to nine grounds including sexual orientation; the Equal Status Act outlaws discrimination based on the same grounds as the Employment Equality Act, covering access to goods and services (including education). Please see our legislation webpages for further information.

The Gender Recognition Act 2015 allows individuals over 18 to obtain official recognition of their true gender where this differs from the gender recorded on their original birth certificate. Ireland is one of only 5 countries in the world to allow self-determination of gender. Please click here for information on how to get a gender recognition certificate.

The Marriage Equality Act 2015 allows couples to marry regardless of gender. Ireland was famously the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote, and Trinity students played an important role in the Yes campaign, through voter registration drives, marches and the "Ring Your Granny" video.

Trinity History

Trinity is proud of its LGBT history and of all our alumni who have furthered LGBT rights and inclusion.

Early Movements

The Sexual Liberation Movement was founded here in 1973, by students and staff including David Norris, then a lecturer in the English department and now the longest-serving Senator in Ireland (on the Trinity panel). From that movement, the "Gay Society" was formed and in 1983 it became the first LGBT society to be formally recognised by any Irish university.

The Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, leading to decriminalisation of "homosexual acts" in 1993, also developed out of the Sexual Liberation Movement. The Campaign was led by David Norris and its legal advisors included Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson, each of whom was at one point the Reid Professor of Criminal Law in Trinity, and later went on to become President of Ireland!

black and white image: poster advertising the sexual liberation movement


Trinity's best-known gay graduate is probably Oscar Wilde, the great Victorian author and dramatist who was imprisoned for homosexual activity, and for whom the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing is named. More recent LGBT and ally graduates include:

  • John Fingleton, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kaleidoscope Trust, which advocates for LGBT rights internationally;
  • Dominic West, who starred as British activist Jonathan Blake in the 2014 film Pride;
  • John Boyne and Anne Enright, novelists who have written about LGBT themes;
  • Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland who publically supported a Yes vote in the 2015 marriage equality referendum, speaking as a parent of a gay son, and was awarded the LGBT Ally of the Year award at the 2015 GALAs.

Honorary Degrees

In 2015 Trinity awarded honorary degrees on the theme of human rights. Two of the five recipients were recognised for their long-time activism for LGBT rights in Ireland - Rory O'Neill (aka Panti Bliss, back left) and Senator David Norris (front left).

5 honorary degree awardees with Chancellor and Provost

External Organisations

Advocacy and support organisations

Intersectional / specialist organisations

University networks

Events and initiatives