"Can I still say dad?: An exploration of loss and grief experienced by Irish adult transgender women and their families

Vanessa Lacey

Limerick Institute of Technology

Vanessa has worked with TENI since 2010, currently she is the Health and Education Manager. In her role she delivers training to health care professionals throughout Ireland and consults on a number of cases with health professionals. She was responsible for creating the family support group TransParenCI in 2011 and who currently support over 200 families. Vanessa also works with schools and the Police service, her objective is to develop a holistic service for transgender people and their families. In 2012 she attained a BA (Hon) Psychology and is currently undertaking a MA in research in the loss and grief research group in LIT, she also facilitates tutorials in Psychology. Recently Wiley published her first co-written academic article which focused on relational rupture and ambiguous loss in transgender families. Vanessa is a committee member of the HSE led Transgender Health Working Group, Chairperson of TransParenCI and is also a parent.  


In the slipstream of what was considered a very progressive gender recognition legislation, Ireland has continued to address the needs of transgender people and their families through trans NGO TENI. Partly funded by the Irish... [ view full abstract ]


The aim of this research study was to explore the experiences of loss and grief with adult transgender women and their families which will subsequently form an understanding and subsequently the development of services to... [ view full abstract ]


As the participants for this study were of a vulnerable group the researcher sought ethics approval from the LIT Ethics Committee for clearance to undertake field work, The researcher interviewed 12 participants in a 1 hour... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

Measuring outcomes was not applicable [ view full abstract ]


Results would suggest that adult trans women and their families do experience a significant amount of loss and grief. Adult trans women experience various different forms of loss and grief than their families. The themes that... [ view full abstract ]


Early indications suggest that there were various comparisons between the findings of this study and existing studies focusing on loss and grief within adult trans families. Furthermore adult trans women experienced... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Vanessa Lacey (Limerick Institute of Technology)

Topic Area

Topics: Working with families of trans persons


MW-1F » Needs of Trans People and Their Families (14:00 - Friday, 7th April, Baltic)

Presentation Files