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About Us

Our Staff

Learn more about the people who work for TENI.

  • Stephen O'Hare (Chief Executive Officer)

    Stephen is our newly appointed CEO. Stephen is a qualified lawyer and has led numerous Irish and EU projects in areas relating to equality and human rights law at national andinternational level. He has also worked on a wide range of lobbying and campaign initiatives most notably the introduction of gender recognition legislation and the referendum on marriage equality in Ireland in 2015.

    Prior tojoining TENI, Stephen was European Projects Manager/Senior Research and Policy Programme Manager with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Policy and Research Officer with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre, and Research Officer for the National Council on Ageing and Older People.

  • Vanessa Lacey (Health & Education Manager)

    Vanessa has worked with TENI for over 6 years. She delivers training to and consults with health care professionals throughout Ireland. She founded the family support group TransParenCI in 2011, which now supports over 100 families. Vanessa also works with primary and secondary schools, and the Gardai. One of her main objectives 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 department of Limerick Institute of Technology. She also facilitates tutorials in Social Psychology as part of her role in LIT. Vanessa is a committee member of the HSE led Transgender Health Working Group, Chairperson of TransParenCI and is also a proud parent.

  • Gordon Grehan (Operations Manager)

    Gordon runs the TENI office, manages TENI's social media and coordinates TENI events. He is responsible for the design and delivery of TENI's "Trans 101" training programme. Gordon works with employers, third level institutions and support organisations to ensure that their policies and procedures are trans friendly, and advises on diversity and inclusion strategies in regard to trans people. He is very proud of his work (in partnership with Accenture) in creating Ireland's first Trans Leadership Summit in 2016. Gordon is particularly interested in, and is knowledgeable about, the areas of justice, hate crime and sexual health.

    Gordon worked for the Social Welfare Appeals Office, BeLonG To Youth Services, Alcohol Forum and GAZE International LGBT Film Festival prior to joining TENI. He also worked for American Airlines for ten years, mostly in the areas of manpower planning and training. He sometimes creates and runs events such as film screenings and club nights. Gordon is a self-confessed culture vulture.

  • Catherine Cross (Family Support & Education Officer)

    Catherine has been involved with the parental support group TransParenCI for several years, initially accessing support as a parent herself and then in a voluntary capacity as secretary of the steering group committee. She's the first point of contact for parents of children, adolescents and adults who are trans or questioning. Catherine works with primary and secondary schools across Ireland, advising on policy and delivering training to staff. She has been self-employed for most of her adult working life, but has trained in Intellectual Disability Practice and obtained a BA HON Degree in Social Policy and Economics from Maynooth University. 

  • Toryn Glavin (Administrative Officer)

    Toryn has been involved with the trans community since November 2013. She studied for a B.Sc. in Event Management and during her time in university was a founding member of the Irish Trans Student Alliance (ITSA). Toryn was a leading member of the group's committee from its inception in November 2013 until January 2017. She took a leadership role in both of the group's Trans Training events, held in 2014 and 2016. 

    Toryn writes an opinion piece each month on her life as a trans woman for GCN Magazine and is a Steering Committee Member for Transgender Europe (TGEU) for the current term 2016-2018. Toryn spent two years as Chairperson of DIT LGBT Society between 2014 and 2016 and ensured the development of trans rights in her university, she was also a member of the Trans Youth Organising Committee, facilitating eduation discussions during the Trans Youth Forum in 2015.

  • Sam Blanckensee (National Development Officer)

    Sam has worked in TENI since summer 2016. They assist facilitators of trans support groups across Ireland and also help to establish new groups. They work with the community and the support groups to build capacity within the Irish trans community. Prior to being a staff member of TENI they sat on the TENI board and regularly represented TENI in the media. Sam was a founding member of Trans Greystones, and, he is an administrator for both the Irish Trans Student Alliance and Trans Guys Ireland. Sam graduated from UCD in Veterinary Nursing in 2016. While in UCD they were a member of the committee of UCD LGBTQ+ and the LGBTQ+ coordinator for the UCD Students’ Union. They won the UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities for their work in trans rights in UCD and nationally. Sam is also a proud scouter and can often be found up mountains at the weekend.


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