A few months ago, my flawless friend Melissa Partridge had to do an interview for an article. She chose to interview me for some strange reason. Of course I said yes because when have I ever declined an opportunity to talk about myself? I was honoured that she would choose me and I was so happy to be able to help her with her assignment. You can find the interview below. Some of it may be information you already know and some of it may be new.
Tell me about your childhood. As a child I was always quite feminine. I had no idea what being transgender was and neither did my parents but I knew that there was something different about me. Some of my earliest memories are actually of me lying in bed before I fell asleep, distraught, wishing and hoping that I would wake up as a girl. Things have gotten a lot easier since that time.
What’s it like to be a transgender teen in today’s society? It’s actually a lot easier than you’d expect. Transgender citizens have been getting a lot of attention in the media which I think has made a lot of people more accepting. I’ve always been very good at ignoring hateful comments that are often directed at me. I used to live in rural Ireland and things were a lot worse there. Every time I went out in public I got screamed at etc. But Dublin is a lot better. Almost every young person I meet is completely okay with it. Its generally older people who struggle with it.
When did you first realise you weren’t being who you truly are? I suppose I knew all my life but I wasn’t willing to accept it. My idea of transgender people was very wrong. I wasn’t educated and I believed that anyone who transitioned would be abandoned by their loved ones and isolated from society. I think the media used to label transgender people as freaks and that was all I saw. But last year, after researching it a bit more, I realised that I could have a wonderful life after transitioning.
What’s the process involved in transitioning, what’s your opinion on this process? There is an extremely long, tiresome process involved in transitioning. Ireland requires me to be diagnosed twice before I can go on hormones and then I have to seek further diagnoses when I wish to get any surgeries. I hate this process. I feel like I’m being treated like a crazy person, incapable of making my own decisions. I am very sure of this and I don’t like having to explain myself over and over again as if this is something that I’m doing on a whim without any thought.
Do you think that the view on transgender people is different in Wexford than here in Dublin? Definitely. Living in Wexford was very difficult as there is a lot of intolerance to any sort of diversity. I faced hateful people on a daily basis and the things that they used to say were very disturbing. It wasn’t all bad though. I had many wonderful friends and I am extremely lucky in that I never really let those people affect me or my perception of myself. Moving up here has been a breath of fresh air. It’s so nice to be able to walk around without facing constant staring, abuse and hatred. I still get the odd person who will pass a comment but as I’ve said I don’t really care about them.
You recently posted a YouTube video expressing yourself and your opinions on transgender people. Why did you make the video? I made the video because I was really sick of people misjudging me or other trans people. I wanted to shut down people with negative opinions, I wanted to talk briefly about the long process but I also wanted to let people know that I’m okay and that this doesn’t have to be a big deal if people don’t want it to be.
What was the response from the video? The response was and continues to be very positive. My loved ones have all shown support for me and people who I didn’t know very well have also shown their support. I’ve heard that it caused quite a scandal back in Wexford but no one ever said anything to me about it. The video has one dislike which is very tame as far as these things go.
What’s your opinion on Caitlyn Jenner? I honestly think Caitlyn is wonderful. I really, really admire her. A lot of people judge the Kardashian-Jenner family so they refuse to take Caitlyn seriously but she is actually doing remarkable work for the trans community. She is incredibly strong and I think she’s just what society needed to bring awareness to all of this.
Did her public transition help you in any way? Caitlyn was the first person to force me to look at the fact that I am transgender. Seeing how beautiful she is and how positive the reaction, for the most part, has been, helped me to come to terms with the fact that I needed to transition.
When you start to use feminine pronouns, will you change your name? Yes, at the moment I’m not comfortable using female pronouns as I don’t physically feel like a woman yet but when the time is right I will be changing my name to Laylah.
Listen to my friend Yasmin interviewing me about my more recent life below:
Read HotPress Magazine‘s Interview with me here.