Now that I’ve made my ebook “Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in April 2016.
I take a deep breath and open up my laptop. “I can’t believe you’re doing this” a voice says. It’s self-doubt. He’s always there. I picture him as a male because I have a bad opinion of men. And he is mean to me. I wish I didn’t have that opinion, but it’s one that I’ve formed over the years. But we’ll get to that later. I’ve learned to ignore this voice only quite recently. I don’t think I’ll ever not hear him but I do not listen and that is the main thing. He is toxic and he does not fit anywhere within my plans.
I intended the first paragraph of my book to introduce myself and my life but instead I just gave out about men and discussed a voice that’s inside my head. Great start David. My name is David Beattie. I live in Dublin and I’m 18 years old. I am transgender which means that I was born in the wrong body but this book isn’t about that. That is not something that defines me or something that I even really think about. What is this book about? Who knows? Right now, while I’m sitting in my room with a cup of black coffee beside me (something I forced myself to like and that I now could never imagine living without) this isn’t even a book. It’s a document that I just opened on my old battered laptop.
You might be sitting here wondering why you should read a book by an 18 year old and my answer is that you shouldn’t if you don’t want to. I think that you should, but I’m quite biased. But I do ask that if you decide to close this book right now, please open another. Just do it. You won’t regret it. I’ve read many books in my time. I’m just back from a trip to Paris where I read “Yes Please” by the wonderful Amy Poehler and thought “I could do this.” So now I am. Is this extremely irrational and weird? Yes. Am I enjoying myself? Immensely. Please read “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler after or instead of this. It is a wonderful book that I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying.
Do I know much about life? Probably not. I’ve only been alive for eighteen years after all. This is a fact that I cannot change. However I will tell you this. Some of my earliest memories are of me looking around and taking things in. Injustice, pain, pleasure, flaws. These topics have always fascinated me amongst many others. I have a lot to discuss. Brace yourself.
Am I qualified to speak about anything? I don’t think so. I’m currently in my first year of a degree in Journalism with French and I was only a bit above average academically in secondary school. Am I a role model? Fuck no. But I do inform myself on topics that I am interested in. I read books, I use social networks to access meaningful information and I’ve kept many journals throughout my life. Does this mean that I should write a book? No. Does this mean I won’t? Of course not.
Do I seem arrogant? I feel like I may seem arrogant. Asking myself questions only to answer them. Arrogant. Thinking I have a voice that’s worth listening to. Arrogant. Writing a book. Arrogant. However, I’m not going to stop even though there are parts of my body screaming at me to do just that. Voices saying that no one cares and telling me that I’m stupid. I hear all of these and I laugh at them. Are these voices my own? Perhaps, but I like to think that they’re not. Either way I’m not going to listen. I haven’t always been this way but you’ll see how I came to be like this.
Right now I want to get up and make another coffee but I’m going to finish this introduction thing. I know you’re supposed to write the introduction at the end of the book but that doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll write something similar at the end, I think. Who knows if I’ll even finish this? I’m a very busy and indecisive person. But I hope that I will because this is fun for me. I have an important exam in three days and I should be studying for that. It’s 10 past 11 at night and I’m wearing a very old, faded pair of pyjamas. I have a homemade coconut oil hair mask in my extremely damaged hair and I’m freezing in my apartment. Not the ideal image of the author of the book that you’re reading.
I’m wide awake as I always am at night and I’m being interrupted every few minutes by my phone letting me know that Yasmin is messaging me. I love when Yasmin messages me and I will put down anything to reply to her, or any of my friends, at that. I did not intend to start writing this right now. But while I was reading “Eat Pray Love” I got sick of listening to other voices and wanted to use my own. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this for a few days now but I didn’t think I would. Ever since I started my first journal I pictured writing my autobiography but I always thought that I would be old and wise instead of young and irresponsible. A year or two ago I wrote half of a fictional teenage novel but I got bored half way through and never picked it back up again. I hope that I will someday but I might make the concept a bit more adult.
So I’ve done it. I’ve written the introduction. It’s not what I thought the introduction would be but nevertheless, it’s done. I have no idea what kind of format I’m going to follow this up with, but I’m going to enjoy figuring that out. I intend to discuss many personal, intimate issues as honestly as I can but please forgive me if I bore you. I am only eighteen and I tend to be quite foolish sometimes. I hope I never grow out of that. So brace yourself for lots of self-indulgent musings, some moaning and occasionally an interesting paragraph or two. I really appreciate you reading this and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I think I will.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch my transgender journey below: