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 blessed. Do I say that enough? Probably not. Especially not to my family. I am blessed to have a really decent family in my life. I was born into a remarkable support network of intelligent, witty and wonderful role models. I owe them everything. I love each and every member of my family dearly and I know for a fact that I don’t tell them that enough.
My mother is an office manager named Audrey. She truly doesn’t recognise how amazing she is. She is an astonishingly fascinating woman. Her wisdom and intelligence have always been something that I’ve really admired about her. I’ve put her through hell over the years. This is not something that I’m proud of but she knows that I inherited my fiery personality from her. Some like to call us stubborn but we prefer the term determined. She lives in Wexford with her partner Michael and our many animals that I convinced her to adopt (have I mentioned how persuasive I can be?). I love nothing more than to go home to my Mam and to tell her all about my life. She is always so proud and supportive of my decisions and I would not be the person that I am without her. I admire her passion for life and her love for the people around her. My hope for her is that she will someday write a book of her own and that she will realise her full potential.
My father is an electrician named James, or Jay as I refer to him. My Dad is truly one of the kindest souls you could come across. His capacity to care has no limit. He is attentive, understanding and hilarious. I’ve put him through hell also (I swear I’m not a horrible person most of the time). I actually cannot stress how generous this man is. He would do anything for me if I asked him to without a fuss. He is in a relationship with his partner Caroline and he also lives in Wexford with his dog. He is quietly proud and supportive of his children and he never judges us. We go for dinners and he listens to everything that I have to say (which is a lot). His house is always warm and inviting when we come home to visit and it has always been open to all of my friends. I admire his generosity and his ability to laugh at himself. My hope for him is that he learns to be as caring and generous to himself as he is to everyone else in his life.
My parents separated when I was 9. It was fine. They handled it like pros and put their children first. We never once saw them argue and they continue to be good friends. At the time, I loved nothing more than to tell people the sob story of my parents’ separation but honestly there was never a sob story. I knew that I was loved and continued to have equal support from both of them. I was just always a lover of drama as anyone who knew me will tell you. They are both very happy with their partners and I both respect and care for Michael and Caroline. I thank the stars every day for my parents. I am so grateful for their support and generosity towards me. They love me so much and would do anything for me. I was not an easy child to raise but they provided me with a wonderful life and left me wanting for nothing. I will be forever in their debt for the life that they have provided me with. Now that I’ve moved out I hope that they spend their days spoiling themselves and thanking the stars for being blessed with a remarkable child like me. No I’m joking about that last part but I felt that I was being too gushy.
My other two parents came in the form of my sisters, Emma and Rachael. They clearly saw that I was the favourite child and spent their time attempting to change that fact. I thank the stars every day that I was lucky enough to stay sane while these two controlled every aspect of my life. I’m joking again (mostly). They have both always been there for me without too much judgement. They keep me grounded and bring out a good side of me. I get along amazingly with them now that we’re grown up and I’m proud to call them friends as well as family members.
Emma is 4 years older than me. She is a lab technician in a pharmaceutical laboratory which is something sciencey, I think. She is generous and funny, ambitious and brave and she is scarily intelligent. She is wonderfully weird and has the most blonde moments of any extremely intelligent person I’ve heard of. I can’t count the amount of stories we tell about funny and silly things that she’s done that result in me actually crying laughing. She currently lives in Kerry with her boyfriend Thabani and I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. She recently brought me on a trip to Paris for my 18th birthday where we good-naturedly bickered and discussed every possible topic in the world while doing very luxurious and cosmopolitan things. She loves me very much and is always displaying this with her generosity towards me. I owe her so much and I hope that we can continue to be there for each other through every experience. I admire her endless ambition and her determination. My hope for her is that she will experience every aspect of this life and travel to many beautiful destinations.
Rachael is 3 years older than me. She is a primary school teacher in Dublin and she lives with me in the apartment. She spent her childhood playing “the school game” and forcing me to play her pupil (much to my delight). She used to ruin my artwork with red ticks and I am so happy to see that she has achieved her dream of becoming a teacher. I dye her hair and we have movie nights in our kitchen. She is quick-witted and giving, attentive and fun. We sometimes go to clubs together and we have an extremely similar sense of humour. She has been a constant support for me without judgement. Our arguments are infrequent and explosive. We share a love of Vodka, Chinese food and funny jokes. We are extremely close and you will regularly find me stretched across the bottom of her bed telling her about my day. I admire her wit and her ability to be free. My hope for her is that she finds a love that’s worthy of her and continues to treat herself with the respect and care that she deserves.
We are a close family unit who share a lot of laughs, memories and experiences. It is incredibly fun to spend time with my family and their continued support is a great source of comfort to me. They are all slightly less attractive than me and I love to remind them of this fact. I have big plans in life but I dearly hope that I remain as close to them as I currently am and I hope that they know how grateful I am to have them in my life.
I also have a remarkably supportive extended family who inspire and love me always. I am so grateful for all of my relations. I love my Grandmother (my hero), my many aunties and uncles, all of my cousins and my numerous other relations. I dearly miss my departed Nana, both of my Granddads and my Aunty Anne. I think of them daily and talk to them regularly (the poor things, as if being dead wasn’t bad enough). I don’t know why I am so lucky but I do try to recognise how lucky I am. I wish to lead a life that makes my family proud and to honour their love for me always.
I especially wish to thank my uncle Christy who has gone above and beyond for me and has taken a remarkable interest in my life. He brings me to wonderful plays, broadens my mind and supports me unconditionally. I want to thank Jill Mc Donald who has been a great source for advice and has always lent an ear to me. I also want to thank my Fairy God Father Paul Farrelly for buying me the best birthday presents as a child and letting me stay up when he babysat. I respect each of these people more than they could imagine and wish them a lifetime of happiness and amazing experiences.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Listen to an interview with my sister Emma about racism below: