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’ve been putting off writing this chapter. This is unlike me. The topic of love has fascinated me for a long time. If I have a few glasses of wine I’ll suddenly start talking about it for hours. I’ll bore you to death asking questions and sharing my experiences. I think this fascination first arose when I fell in love. Before this I was a naïve person. I used to think of everything as black and white. I didn’t truly understand pain or devotion. I didn’t truly understand why people couldn’t get over relationships. It was all a mystery to me. This chapter may sound clichéd and tacky and I’m sorry for that. I don’t have an idealistic viewpoint of love because the only association I’ve had with it up until now has been heartbreak. I can’t change this. I can’t talk about it in an experienced fashion. I can only reflect on what I know.
It’s a cliché but like all clichés, there is truth within it. Falling in love is like settling into a warm bath. That satisfaction as your skin heats up to the temperature of the water is like the feeling of love filling your veins (I want to stop writing and take a bath now. But no, I will finish this chapter). Your heart grows bigger and suddenly you recognise things that you’ve never seen before. Your eyes open and your mind broadens. Some things get brighter and some get darker. I am currently cringing at how tacky and sickening that sounds, but it’s true.
Honestly, I fell in love with someone who I was already very close to. Unfortunately, he couldn’t love me back. This is okay. I don’t regret falling in love. I think it changed me more than I could ever talk about. I never resented him for not loving me. This was not his fault. You can’t help your feelings. We can’t beat ourselves up for falling in love because you cannot help it. I used to think otherwise and it was a hard lesson to learn, but you really cannot help your feelings. I often see people get so frustrated when love doesn’t go the way that they thought. This is futile. In order for love to work out there are many requirements that must be considered. It is rare for these requirements to be present for both individuals at the same time.
It hurts when love doesn’t work out. It really does, but we get through it. The alternative is to not love at all and that is a horrifying option. I wasn’t afraid to be honest about the love that I felt then and I won’t be afraid to do it again. It almost tore me apart but this is natural. I survived it and now I know how strong I am. I wish this boy only the best and although I never thought that it would be the case, sitting here, a year and a half later, I still have love in my heart for him. This will probably never go away and honestly, I hope that it doesn’t because it is a beautiful, pure feeling. Wow, being honest about this is harder than I thought it would be. There are many types of love out there. No two are the same and we should never judge anyone for loving us or for loving another person. We’re just doing what humans do.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t fall in love with someone unless you love yourself first. So looking for that connection is futile until you’ve learned how to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself then you’re not in a position to love another person. This is just what I think. Also, contrary to popular belief, I think that it is impossible for someone else to make you love yourself. You may love many people throughout your life but the only guaranteed constant is yourself. You are the only person that will always be there for you. You are the only person that knows yourself inside out. You are the only person that can provide yourself with unconditional, constant love. Do that for yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and say that you’re beautiful. Buy yourself nice dinners. Get all dressed up to go out so that you can feel amazing. Date yourself for a while and you may discover that eventually, you’re ready for someone else to fit in to the picture. Or maybe, like me you’ll fall in love with yourself so deeply that there isn’t room for anyone else (that was a joke).
Am I hopeful about love? Of course I am. I’m young, I’m pretty, I’m intelligent and I am a good person (It’s taking everything in me right now to stop self–doubt from deleting that line). I’m not waiting for someone to come and sweep me off my feet but I’m open to the opportunity when it arises. If you love someone, do yourself a favour and tell them. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m not asking you to do anything that I haven’t done myself. I genuinely do believe that one should be honest about their feelings when they are that strong. I also wish to say that if someone pours their heart out to you and you act like it’s nothing then you are an asshole. Be a kind person please. You don’t have to pretend to have feelings for them or humour them or any of that bullshit. But when they tell you that they love you, don’t make them feel like a pathetic weirdo. When they go through all the different phases and they text you about certain things don’t just ignore them. And DO NOT use them when you want someone easy on a night out or I will personally cut your genitals off.
If you’re heartbroken, look after yourself. Know that it’s natural to love and to feel pain. Don’t ever make out that your feelings are less than they are. Acknowledge that you are human and that sometimes you fall in love. Acknowledge that you will get through this. Acknowledge that you are not alone. Acknowledge that you will find someone. Acknowledge that you don’t need someone to love you when you genuinely love yourself.
There. I did it. I wrote the chapter. I hope that it makes sense to you because to me it feels like I just babbled on for a few paragraphs. Oh well. I think I shall have a bath now.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch things I didn’t know before having sex below: