Those of you who bought a hard copy of “Who Cares?” may notice a box on the back that says “Photography by Natalie Kavanagh.” I thought that I should explain who she is. Then I thought that she deserved a whole chapter because she is a truly remarkable human being. You can see that just from looking at her:
My first impression of Natalie was that she was full of mystery. She sat opposite me with big eyes at a lunch full of people and she spoke occasionally. I was intrigued. She was smiley and warm, but slightly closed off. I love people like that. People who open up gradually. I wish that I was one of these people. I’m usually telling you about the time that I got grommets as a child within five minutes of meeting you.
I remember our first conversation of signifigance. I was walking behind her on the stairs. I was staring down at her blonde hair and hoping that it wasn’t natural. I find it extremely difficult to be friendly towards natural blondes. Frankly, they are unnatural and it shouldn’t be allowed. They are not to be trusted in my opinion. What else are you hiding? Webbed feet? A tail? The patience to moisturise your entire body every night?
I asked her whether her hair was naturally that colour and she told me that it was. I thought that would be the end of our friendship until she turned to me and admired my platinum blonde locks. From that moment we formed a truce. It was unheard of for a natural blonde and a bleached blonde to form an alliance. But here we are, breaking ground for future generations.
It wasn’t easy, but over time we grew from cautious hair enemies, to weary hair acquaintances, to good friends. We discovered that we have similar dreams and desires. We also have a similar music taste which is a rare thing for me to find. Natalie is extremely creative and she has a wonderful mind (although she still laughs at the number 69 and any other sexual references).
Apart from being an amazing photographer she is also a wonderful artist. She once drew me a beautiful portrait of Lana Del Rey that I have framed on my wall. She adores Kurt Cobain, milkshakes and drawing. She drinks wine and coffee (probably the real reason behind our friendship) and she regularly makes me laugh.
She sells her art online which you can find on her Instagram and I would seriously suggest buying something of hers before she is too busy painting the next Sistine chapel.
I was lucky enough to receive an offer from her of a photo-shoot before I published my book. I was so honoured that she would take the time to do that for me. We had a fun little shoot one evening where she guided me while I posed for her. I think it was the only time that someone has successfully told me what to do.
I hope to be lucky enough to collaborate with her many times in the future as I think that she has an amazing vision. Ten seconds of time in Natalie’s company feels like a blessing and I am so grateful to have her in my life. She has a beautiful, old, inspirational soul and I adore our friendship.
I shall stop gushing over her now because I think that Natalie is one of those wonderful, quietly confident people who doesn’t need the validation of others to guide her.
Watch my video Hi, I’m Transgender, which was shot by Natalie below:
Read about My First Days in Dublin here.