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 am overwhelmed in the best possible way at the fact that I’ve finished this book. The process has honestly been so enjoyable. It took me two and a half months to write and I have adored every second of it. I wish that I could now say something glamorous like “I put my life on hold for this book,” but that would be a lie. I wrote it in the nights that I couldn’t sleep. I wrote it on the days that I had no plans. I wrote it after I’d changed in to my pyjamas at the end of a long day in college. I wrote the majority of it during my Christmas holidays, which took up most of January.
I’d like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to read this (assuming you read on). I am so grateful to you and I just hope that you will have a positive experience with it.
So what should you expect from this book? I’m sorry to say that I wrote this book for myself. I wrote a book that I would enjoy reading and looking back on. That’s not to say that I didn’t think that anyone would be reading it. Of course I did. I just wasn’t that concerned with your reactions to the things I say.
The chapters are all in the order that I wrote them in. I kept an idea notebook with me at all times and when I thought of something to include I would write it down. Some of these ideas never made it into the book because I wrote them when I was exhausted, just before I fell asleep. It’s safe to say that none of those ideas made sense. However, everything I wrote is in this book. Obviously it’s been edited and modified slightly, but I didn’t delete any chapter or pieces of information that I included in my first draft.
Writing this book was almost too easy (Does that sound cocky?). The ideas continued to come to me throughout the entire process. I would write three chapters and happily cross them off in my notebook, only for three new chapter ideas to pop into my head. Whenever I got a mental block or became too tired to write any more, I would read. I truly believe that reading other people’s books was the only reason that I was so motivated to finish this one so quickly.
The title “Who Cares?” came to me about halfway through the process. I realised that I was repeating this saying during many of the chapters, so it seemed only fitting that I would choose this as the title. “Who Cares?” became a sort of catchphrase for me and you’ll notice that I (quite annoyingly) repeat it many times.
My original aim was to create chapter titles that were clever and witty but I found this to be extremely difficult and instead decided to name the chapters basic, obvious names. I begin each chapter with a quote that I love. I intended these quotes to all correspond with the subject matter but this proved to be quite impossible for certain chapters. It turns out that I’m not quite as creative as I thought.
It is very likely that I’ve made mistakes when writing this book. I apologise for this. I know that when you’re writing a book you’re supposed to edit meticulously but I didn’t. I edited this book twice and that was about it. Truthfully, I was impatient. I just wanted to get this book published. I just wanted people to read it. I suppose that’s what happens when an impulsive 18-year-old writes a book.
I know for a fact that there are instances when my ramblings repeat themselves. But as I said I’m impatient and I didn’t devote the time to find and fix these. I hope this isn’t too inconvenient for you.
If, at any stage I sound preachy, patronising or hypocritical, I’m sorry. I truly don’t mean to sound like an asshole. In fact, I really despise assholes. I tried to be as honest as I could without coming off superior. I hope I succeeded.
During the course of writing this book I had many things happen to me. I got kicked by a man from a large group of intimidating people while walking along O’Connell street one evening. I was fine afterwards. The only thing he managed to hurt was my pride. This was a horrible experience but it could have been a lot worse. I also started my second semester of college which has been a lot more interesting and enjoyable than the first.
I uploaded a YouTube Video regarding my transition. I began writing for a website called HamburgersnHeroin. I went on nights out with my friends a number of times. I ran out of money more than once. I drank enough coffee to energise an army. I also found out that I had passed all of my exams which I was very relieved to hear.
In this book I didn’t talk about my past as much as I probably thought I would. I share things that have happened to me but mostly I talk about how I came to be the person that I am today. I would have liked to tell my story a bit more but I can do that in the next one.
Some of the things that I say sound quite dramatic and clichéd. I wish I could say that I’m not ashamed, but I actually do find myself cringing when I look back on these. However, I will not erase these instances because I refuse to censor myself.
Many times I refer to one of the most prominent experiences in my life; when I had my first unrequited love. I hope it isn’t annoying that I do this but I can’t help that this experience shaped me in unimaginable ways.
While writing this book, I have discovered that I use the words wonderful and beautiful an awful lot. I don’t actually consider this to be a terrible flaw.
Some chapters were included just for me or for people who know me personally. Chapters in which I describe in detail my friends, my teachers and my favourite books may be boring for the average reader, but I wanted to include them and I did. I won’t apologise for that.
Speaking of the chapter regarding my teachers I apologise to them if they did not wish to be named like they were. Any students from my secondary school should be aware that all of the teachers mentioned here have probably retired in the year since I’ve left. If there are any teachers that are in the school with the same names, it’s probably a mere coincidence. Do not ask them if they are the teacher from this book.
Since I made this book, my friendship group also expanded by four people. I have so enjoyed getting to know Danú, Catherine, Natalie and Jessica and I adore their company. I wish that I had included them in the friendship chapter but unfortunately I didn’t. These girls are wonderful and deserve endless recognition for their supportiveness.
I was always in a wonderful state of mind while writing this book. This should always be kept in mind by the reader. If I’ve made it seem that I’ve never struggled, I apologise. Of course I have struggled with many things in my past. We all do. I just tend to focus more on the bright side of life.
The process of writing this book has really been quite enjoyable and enlightening. So much so that I’m now of the opinion that everyone should write a book at some stage in their life, whether they publish it or not. Actually I’d rather that they didn’t publish it just in case it’s more successful than mine.
I probably shouldn’t have apologised so much in this section but I just wanted my readers to know these things. If you have any further issues with any part of this book, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Although that’s not my email address so god knows who will end up reading them.
To now be finishing up the final stage of my book is a surreal experience for me because I wasn’t completely sure that I would do this. Again, thank you so much for reading this. You are a wonderful person.
I hope you enjoy it,
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch my first ever Youtube video, talking about the fact that I’m transgender here: