This article analyses discourses on so-called female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) in Northern Ireland. We identify a tension between affected communities’ need for improved supports and resources on the one hand, and the absence of resources and support, or inappropriate and sometimes harmful interventions, on the other hand. We conclude that this mismatch between requirements and actual provisions is one effect of the isolated politicization of FGM/C, in ways that reinforce global North gender norms. We argue that non-hypocritical transcultural engagements require critical assessment of how the (historically and culturally specific) gender binary organises global North perspectives on all forms of non-therapeutic genital cutting. Two significant barriers are identified. First, there is a lack of awareness in Northern Ireland of the origins of current double standards in the regulation of genital cutting. Second, the ‘two communities’ model of Northern Irish politics impedes the development of interlinked and contestatory publics.