Sexual Orientation

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

("LGBTQ+" 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)

Trinity staff 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.

A new support group has been set up at Student Counselling for LGBTQ+ identified students called the “Rainbow Group” which will run each Wednesday from 4-5pm via Zoom. Students who are interested can sign up on their website at the following link

This group aims to provide an affirming space for all members of the LGBTQ+ Community to improve their mental health and resilience through providing support to one another as well as receiving support from professional group facilitators and SCS staff. At SCS, we recognize that Trinity students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community might experience inequality, prejudice, or bias during their lives based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, which can cause increased stress during their college careers. Members of this group will have space to process concerns and stressors through a strengths-based, non-pathologizing format. All Trinity students who identify as members of the broader LGBTQ+ community are welcomed and encouraged to join.

Q Soc is Trinity’s LGBTQ+ 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 Facebook page.

Both the Students' Union and the Graduate Students' Union advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ 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.

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 (this was the last Index as GLEN ceased operations in 2017).

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 on the Gender webpage.

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:

The Employment Equality Act 1998 (as amended) outlaws discrimination within employment related to nine grounds including sexual orientation; the Equal Status Act 2000 (as amended) 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 is proud of its LGBTQ+ history and of all our alumni who have furthered LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.

Early Movements - LGBTQ+ 1973 poster

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.



Trinity's best-known LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ and ally graduates include:

  • John Fingleton, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kaleidoscope Trust, which advocates for LGBTQ+ 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.
2015 Trinity honorary degrees for human rights with 2 of the 5 recipients working for LGBT rights

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).

Advocacy and support organisations

Intersectional / specialist organisations

University networks

Events and initiatives