“Denise is an unassuming woman, married and with two adult daughters. She is currently Director of an International Consultancy involved in the programme management of Data Centres for international customers. She has worked for the likes of Google, Amazon and a whole host of design and engineering companies over a four-decade career delivering mission-critical facilities for demanding customers. In her spare time she also works in commercial radio in Ireland, for Kfm in Kildare, among others. She also writes about film, one of her other passions, in a regular blog. She is a keen motorcyclist and is a Board Director of Transgender Equality Network Ireland.
Denise is no ordinary woman. She has a trans history. What that means is that when she was born, doctors thought she was male. After many years of depression and struggling, Denise began her social and medical transition in her late thirties. She made her legal transition when the Gender Recognition Act came into law in Ireland in 2015 and completed her medical transition a few years later.
Having been assigned male at birth and despite surgery to correct that error, Denise has a prostate. Most transgender women do, as do some intersex and non-binary people. That’s ok. Nature is weird and wonderful sometimes. It is infinite in its diversity and combinations. Nowadays as well as getting her regular screenings such as BreastCheck, Denise gets a regular Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test at her local GP’s office. It’s a simple blood test that gets sent away to a lab and one usually gets the result a few days later.
For transgender, intersex or non-binary people, the testing regime is never simple.
Denise has had to repeat her PSA test numerous times because the lab sees the label “female” and throws it in the bin, assuming an error. This is why education is so important: education for medical staff and laboratory technicians – to understand that a simple XX/XY chromosomal binary is a very narrow definition of human nature and biology. It defines the majority but not a significant minority.
Through supporting programmes such as Blue September, Denise hopes that all transgender, intersex and non-binary people will consider getting a PSA test and also that the medical profession will educate themselves beyond the simple binary.”
By Denise Breen
Follow Denise on X (formerly Twitter) at @DeniseMBreen or IG at Denise.M.Breen
Her blog is on www.thefourthwall.xyz
You can find her on air every Saturday from 11am (www.kfmradio.com)
You can learn more about the work that Transgender Equality Network Ireland do at www.teni.ie
Denise is lending her voice to support our Stand Up for Your Prostate Campaign this Blue September