This week on Be Grand we’re honoured to be joined by Philippa Ryder, founder and director of Under The Rainbow – a new charity and mental health service that promotes diversity and inclusion in the Irish workplace.
The episode is almost derailed very early in proceedings (though regular listeners will no doubt be accustomed to that by this stage) when Philippa makes the mistake of bringing up her love of Star Trek, which leads to Andy making a futile attempt to out-geek his guest. There is method in the madness however as Philippa relates how the show provided an enduring source of strength for her growing up and functioned as a crucial reminder that a beautiful future was possible despite the darkness of the present. Any Trekkies listening will be in for a treat!
Philippa also talks about what it was like coming of age in the conservative Ireland of the Seventies, a time when gender roles were strictly enforced and one was discouraged from exploring their identity, before describing the freedom she felt when she could finally be herself.
Finally, Philippa chats to Andy about the pressures faced by someone coming out as transgender, the importance of pronouns and if things are improving in terms of transgender rights in Ireland, and her time representing her country at the Gay Games. So join Philippa and Andy as they boldly go back to Philippa’s school days and ask the big questions such as – Kirk or Spock?