Gender Identity and Expression Policy


Gender identity and expression is a positive, core part, of being human and experiencing wellbeing and fulfilment. UCD celebrates its diverse community of employees and students and their diverse gender identities and expression. Fundamental equality and inclusion in UCD’s community is central to our University’s ethos of academic excellence and integrity and our aspiration to be leaders in our society.


Updating Pronouns on Zoom and Email Signatures

Sharing pronouns on Zoom communicates how you would like to express your gender and how others can respectfully refer to one another. Adding your pronouns lets others know that you want to be inclusive and respectful of trans and gender non-binary employees and students in UCD.

  • Instructions for sharing your pronouns on Zoom: click here
  • Update my email signature: click here
  • Learn more about how you can support transgender inclusion at UCD: click here




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A University Management Team Working Group was established in September 2016 to draft a UCD Gender Identity Policy and supporting Guidelines.  In line with our University values, we are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse University environment where every individual is respected and valued. The purpose of this policy is to value and encourage all members of our University Community, irrespective of gender identity, to achieve their full potential and to respect and recognise diverse gender identities and gender expressions.

The members of this Working Group are as follows:

  • Rory Carey (Chair)
  • PJ Barron
  • Dr Conor Buggy
  • Associate Professor Barbara Dooley
  • Marcellina Fogarty
  • Catherine McDonnell
  • Paula McGarry
  • Andy Myler
  • Róisín Ní Mhara 
  • Aisling O'Grady
  • Dominic O'Keeffe
  • Professor Colin Scott
  • Judy Walsh

Celebrate Pride with UCD 


UCD hoisted a new Progress Pride flag designed by Daniel Quasar to celebrate an inclusive Pride and to recognise LGBTI+ people of colour and trans people. 

Join us and celebrate Pride by:

  • Join UCD's Pride webinar on LGBTI Inclusion in the Curriculum, 10th June: Click here to register
  • Find out what's happening during Pride Month 2021 here
  • Read more about the Progress Pride Flag here
  • Add the below UCD Progress Pride Flag visual to your signature for the month of June
UCD Progress Pride Flag visual (Add to your signature for the month of June)PNG|205.5KB


Webinar: Diversity in the Workplace

Join us on Friday the 25th of June for Smurfit Women, Inspiring More's Pride Month Webinar: "Diversity in the Workplace." We are honoured to be joined by Sara R. Phillips, Chair of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and Aongus Hegarty, President of Dell Technologies for International Markets.

Registration Link:

Date:              Friday, 25th June, 2021

Time:              12:00 pm - 13:00 pm

Location:        Virtual event | Dublin, Ireland

UCD LGBT+ History Month 2021

In celebration of LGBT+ History Month 2021, In February the UCD LGBTI Staff Network and UCD LGBTI Subgroup hosted an online discussion on the life and legacy of UCD founder Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Cardinal Newman's legacy on church and society is universally accepted - however a point of sometimes controversy is Newman's sexuality; his intense relationship with Ambrose St John is often speculated to have been a deep and loving relationship. Can we claim Newman as a Gay Man?

This online discussion was chaired by Dr Mary McAuliffe, UCD with Richard O'Leary of the LGBT Heritage Project Northen Ireland and Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, USA, considered Newman's impact and legacy - and examined what it might mean for us to claim him as a Gay Man.


MoLI is delighted to launch Past/Present/Pride, a series of conversations that will remember and celebrate UCD’s LGBTI+ literary alumni. Hosted by psychologist Dr Paul D’Alton, Past/Present/Pride will reflect on the work of writers associated with UCD across the decades – decades that have witnessed significant social change for members of the LGBTI+ communities in Ireland & beyond.

Past/Present/Pride is a collaboration between MoLI and UCD’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme. Over the last number of years UCD has made an explicit commitment to promoting an inclusive community where people identifying as LGBTI+ feel safe, valued and provided equal opportunity.

Episode 3: Mary Dorcey

21 January 2021, 7pm 

In the next episode of Past/Present/Pride, a series of conversations that celebrates LGBTI+ writers, psychologist Dr Paul D'Alton speaks to poet and fiction writer Mary Dorcey. Register here.

Episode 2: Colm Tóibín

7 January 2021 

In this episode of Past/Present/Pride, Dr Paul D'Alton speaks to writer Colm Tóibín. You can watch the episode below.


Episode 1: Emma Donoghue
27 June 2020 

In the first episode of Past/Present/Pride, Dr Paul D’Alton speaks with Emma Donoghue, author of over twelve novels, including RoomAkin, and Stir Fry. Across a rich hour of conversation, Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, touches on subjects as diverse as same-sex parenting, the tension between safety and freedom, coming out to her mother, and the power of fiction. Donoghue’s new novel, The Pull of the Stars (Pan Macmillan) is set in a Dublin hospital in 1918 during the height of the Spanish flu pandemic.

UCD Pride 2020

UCD invited Dublin Pride's joint Grand Marshall, John Gilmore, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems to join Paul D'Alton, Associate Professor of the School Psychology and Chair of the LGBTI Sub-Group, Marcellina Fogarty, Strategic EDI Manager and Eimear O' Reilly, EDI Project Officer to raise the Pride flag in UCD.
UCD are delighted that a UCD staff member from the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems was appointed to be this year's Grand Marshall for Dublin Pride.  
See more photos the raising of the Pride flag in UCD on our news page.
Pictured: Dr John Gilmore, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, Join Grand Marshall, Dublin Pride 2020, Dr Paul D'Alton, Associate Professor School of Psychology, Chair of UCD LGBTI Sub-Group, Marcellina Fogarty, Strategic EDI Manager and Eimear O' Reilly, EDI Project Officer 

Dublin Pride 2020

Join the Digital Dublin Pride festival and virtual parade.

Leading in an Inclusive World, Wednesday, 24. Jun 2020, 10:00-11:30am 

During Pride month, this workshop supports those leading a team in UCD with practical tools to manage a diverse team & to take a closer look at their inclusive leadership style & that of the wider organisation in supporting greater LGBT inclusion & EDI broadly. This session is also suitable for those leading on EDI in their School/Unit. Register via the UCD Booking Centre.

Consultation on UCD's Gender Identity and Expression Policy and Guidelines

UCD's LGBTI Sub-Group in conjunction with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit has initiated a review of the policy and guidelines to gather comprehensive data as to how the policy and guidelines are working from the perspective of trans and non-binary staff and students and also frontline staff engaging with trans and non-binary staff and students in UCD. 

To support this review, EDI is organising two focus groups to understand how the implementation of these policy and guidelines can be enhanced:

  • Focus Group 1 is for trans and gender non-binary staff and students and will be led by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). For further information on the focus group and to register, click here
  • Focus Group 2 is a focus group for UCD staff who engage with students and staff led by the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Unit, For further information on the focus group and to register, click here.

A copy of the policy, guidelines and some guiding questions to support reflection will be sent to you in advance of the focus group. 

If you have any requirements or queries about the focus groups or cannot attend but would like to contribute to the review, please contact

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UCD employees on the meaning of Pride

Be bold, Be brave, Be proud

The last time I came out as gay, I was lecturing on global health to a class of almost 200 students at University College Dublin. I had not planned to disclose my sexual orientation in this class. It suddenly struck me that my minority students needed to hear from someone “like them” that it was not only OK to be gay, but to hear that an LGBT+ person of color can flourish in academia. Across my professional life, I was fortunate to teach in several institutions in the USA, Philippines, Latin America and Ireland. In every place I taught, I had minority students who sent me moving emails thanking me for being a face in a white-heterosexual dominated institution. Their messages are a reminder that even in so-called progressive institutions, and in a modern post marriage equality/abortion referenda Ireland, minority students still face ‘symbolic violence’ i.e. the invisibilisation of faces like theirs in academia. What inspires me to come out is knowing that visibility is everything for my minority students. I love to tell my students: Be bold, be brave, be proud.

Dr. Ernesto Vasquez del Aguila, Peruvian, UCD Assistant professor


I sat down to write this blog entry with just the blank page in front of me, wondering what I have to say that is worth hearing but wanting to say something that is meaningful. I’ve been working at UCD since 2014 and finished my PhD here before that. I love the campus and the community, and feel lucky to work every day as a student adviser to support the amazing students that UCD has.

Pride holds a special place in the UCD calendar. Last year in the Vet School (where I work), our Athena SWAN committee organised a Pride celebration for our College (of Health and Agricultural Sciences). The place was packed. In fairness, it might have been the amazing chocolate cake from Pi that brought everyone out but I prefer to think that it was the depth of support that epitomises the UCD community. I can’t describe adequately the feeling of the event. There was a crackle of energy in the air that would be hard to replicate. The place was bursting with love, joy and togetherness. I love Pride. I love to see the rainbow flags flying high along Dublin’s quays; I love to see the glimpses of rainbow as I scroll through social media and catch sight of friends’ Pride-framed profile pics; and I love it that UCD raises the Pride flag, a symbol of solidarity and welcome for all that come through its gates. 

Personally, I have a deep sense of pride in and love for my LGBTQ+ identity. That pride is a vital part of my life, not least because it forms the solid ground beneath my relationship with my fiancée, Orla, but because being a member of the LGTBQ+ community is at the core of who I am, and I wouldn’t be me otherwise. I place importance on being out and visible in all aspects of my life, both personal and professional, but some days that kind of work feels…well, like work. I’m 43 now and I still feel a little knot in my stomach when I ‘out’ myself to someone, worried that maybe, just maybe, they might feel discomfort, only to feel relief when I don’t see those signs of discomfort. When I reflect on it later, it feels ludicrous, but it’s a part of my experience.

Marriage Equality has made a huge difference to my life. I remember holding Orla’s hand in public the day after the result and feeling that the edges of the world were that little bit softer. There’s no place for complacency, though. I feel very concerned about what is happening in other parts of Europe and the world, with regressive political statements targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Solidarity with all marginalised groups is more important now than ever.   

This year, our Vet/CHAS Pride celebration will be a little different. There’ll unfortunately be no cake but there’ll be no lack of that love, joy and togetherness. Watch this space for an announcement about our upcoming Pride coffee-via-zoom morning. All are welcome. Happy Pride!

Dr Niamh Nestor, Student Adviser, UCD

Frontline Workers as Pride Grand Marshalls

This year Dublin Pride selected the Frontline Workers during the COVID-19 crisis as their Grand Marshalls. One of those represented is John Gilmore-Kavanagh, Assistant Professor of Nursing at UCD. John also worked on ICU at Saint Vincent's University Hospital during the COVID-19 surge. 

These are his thoughts about Pride 2020

This Pride season is undoubtedly different; COVID-19 has meant that the parades, street parties and other gatherings where we meet with friends, family, and indeed many people we don’t even know aren’t possible in the same way. We should remember, however, that Pride is not just about celebration, indeed when we think about the origins of Pride festivals around the world, it has been less about celebration, and more about brining visibility to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer communities and to the issues and oppressive forces which impact on us.

This Pride is an opportunity for us to refocus, and to reflect on why it is important that we gather, and that we are visible. While in Ireland there has been much progress in the past few years on LGBTIQ+ rights, it would be naive for anyone to think that there aren’t significant issues, discrimination and oppression faced by people within our communities. Although the Gender Recognition Act was a huge step forward for Trans Rights in Ireland, access to healthcare remains a massive issue for Trans people. Young LGBTIQ+ people still face significant challenges around bullying and mental health, and discrimination and oppression still occur every day, in all of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. We need to remember that LGBTIQ+ people live in direct provision, LGBTIQ+ people are people of colour who face racism every day, many LGBTIQ+ are disabled and don’t have their basic accessibility needs met, LGBTIQ+ are travellers, oppressed by the state for generations, LGBTIQ+ people are homeless, LGBTIQ+ people are sex workers punished by laws which should protect them.

These are things that should be on our mind when we think of Pride this year, and at the forefront of our campaigns and events. Unless all of our rights are realised, we are not liberated. Black Trans Lives Matter, Accessibility Always, Traveller Rights are Human Rights, Housing is a Human Right, Sex Work is Work.

Happy Pride.

John Gilmore, Assistant Professor, School of Midwifery, Nursing & Health Systems, UCD


To read more musings from our colleagues, check out our EDI blog "Inclusion Never Stops." Please note: the views and opinions expressed in EDI blog entries are those of the contributors and do not represent the views of UCD or UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.


Foy-Zappone Award 2018

UCD's Equality Diversity and Inclusion Group in partnership with the Student LGBTQ+ Society presented a momentous event for International LGBTI History Month in February 2018.

  • Dr Catherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, officially launched UCD's Gender Identity and Expression Policy;
  • The Foy-Zappone Award was presented to Tonie Walsh – Curator of the National LGBT “Queer” Archive.
  • 30th Birthday of the UCD Student LGBTQ+ Society and the 1st Birthday of the UCD LGBTI Staff Network.

View photos of the event.

UCD Gender Identity and Expression Policy wins CIPD Diversity and Inclusion Award

In February 2019, UCD's new Gender Identity and Expression Policy was the CIPD Diversity and Inclusion winner at the 2019 CIPD HR Awards. 

EDI Representatives receiving the CIPD Award

The development of UCD’s Gender Identity and Expression policy was a radical initiative that led to cultural transformation within UCD and impacts over 40,000 students, employees and visitors. As part of an innovative approach to policy development there was University-wide consultation and training of front-line staff, all contributing to embedding outcomes to support gender identity and expression. 

The judges were impressed with the thoughtful design and implementation, the co-creation and inclusive approach with students and staff and then the influencing of significant structural changes to buildings. This initiative redefined the boundaries of the HR role and demonstrated how HR built a strong voice that delivered impact and scale.


All single stall bathrooms across Campus are gender neutral. New signage to reflect this policy change will be implemented in 2018. See the UCD map for gender inclusive facilities.

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For anyone experiencing issues in relation to thier gender identity, a number of supports are available for employees and students.

Supports are available to all employees, and their immediate family, through the Employee Assistance Service (EAS). The EAS is a confidential counselling and information service independent of UCD to assist all employees in dealing with personal issues that could pose a threat to our health, well-being, relationships or employment.

Student supports are available from the Student Advisers and the Student Counselling Service. The Student Counselling service is a free and confidential service staffed by professionally qualified psychologists and counsellors which provides easily accessible support for students when personal issues arise that affect their happiness, well-being, capacity to cope, relationships or learning.

Gender Identity Family Support Line: 01 907 3703. In operation every 2nd and 4th Friday from 6-9pm


Further Supports:

Internal Supports

  • The LGBTI Group is a subgroup of the EDI Group. You can find information on the members and their Terms of Reference on the LGBTI Group page.
  • The LGBTI Staff Network is one of UCD's EDI Networks and is a great opportunity for employees to connect with UCD’s LGBTI Community. More information on the EDI Networks webpage
  • Off-campus engagement and well-being programmes are available during the period of Covid-19 – check out the Culture & Engagement Website for further information.
  • Do not miss the UCD Staff Ezine regularly for upcoming Parents webinars and events. 
  • UCD has launched the new Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Peer Support Group. The members are trained in Mental Health First Aid and offer support and information to colleagues who are feeling overwhelmed and are concerned about their mental wellbeing. While Covid-19 restrictions are in place, UCD MHFA Peer Support Group will be reachable via Zoom as opposed to face-to-face.

External Supports

LGBT Ireland: LGBT Ireland is a national support service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people and their families and friends.

TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland): TENI seeks to improve the situation and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. Our Vision is an Ireland where trans people are understood, accepted and respected, and can participate fully in all aspects of Irish society.