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’m not certain of the time-line regarding all this, but I think that it was at about age 10 that it began. We were growing older. And two students in my class had begun a relationship. The news spread like wild fire. They were spotted holding hands. He had given her a piggy back. They even hugged once. We were intrigued. How did it work? What was the appeal? Their relationship was fascinating to all of us. We knew that the older classes had relationships but it was surprising to discover that we were now old enough to have our own. We watched with amazement at all that occurred. They sat beside each other on buses to trips. They even kissed once or twice. Then, one day, they broke up. That news spread just as quickly. People split off into sides. You were either on the side of the girl or of the boy. This lasted about three days until everyone forgot about it and we all became friends again.
This was monumental for us. It started a phase of relationships. We’d had phases before. National hug days where we spent the day embracing one another over and over again. Making paper fortune tellers. Making friendship bracelets. The boys in my class even went through a phase of punching each other in the genitals until my teacher sat them down for a serious talk in which she put a stop to it. Suddenly, around three relationships would bloom each day. Honestly, the same amount probably also ended. One person would ask another to go out with them. They usually received a positive response and it was then announced to the school. We would spend the day talking about who had gotten together and how long we thought they’d last. We’d sympathise with their exes who now had to face the heartbreak of seeing their old partner with another. We’d discuss arguments that couples were having, wondering if this would be the end. We’d talk about how suitable for one another some people were. Or how cute it was when a couple holding hands would walk past. We took it all very seriously.
I looked around at this new situation and saw an advantage that I could use. I was already popular but now the opportunity of being discussed on a daily basis had arisen, I felt obligated to take it. I knew I had to get into a relationship. But who with? I was aware that I liked boys at this stage. But it’s not as if I could get with a boy. No boy in my class seemed to like boys (bear in mind that we were only around 10). This meant that I had to find a girl to get with. I didn’t think I’d have an issue. I was very friendly with all of the girls and was certain that any one of them would be happy to be on my arm. But who would I choose? I was clever enough to know that my best friends should be avoided. That was a world of trouble that I didn’t desire to bring on to myself. I looked at the other girls around, the ones that I was friends with rather than best friends (because there is a world of difference when you’re that age). There was the girl who had once given me a valentines card decorated with music notes and the saying “your voice is music to my ears” (I was flattered at the time I received this as everyone should be to discover that they have an admirer). There was the girl who had hung on my every word for as long as I could remember. There were also many other possibilities.
I decided not to settle on an individual but to instead just play the field. I went through many girlfriends during this time. I usually chose girls who I admired in some way, girls that I wanted to be closer to. I also accepted anyone that asked me. I was a good boyfriend. I would talk to them a lot more than the other boys would talk to their girlfriends. I would spend some of my lunch with them. Some of my relationships even lasted two weeks. This was unheard of. Although once I broke up with a girl the day after getting with her (one of my biggest regrets to this day). I did all of the things that I was supposed to do excellently. In my mind I felt quite happy to do this. My logic was warped but I thought it was fun, like acting in a play. Even back then I was able to recognise that it wasn’t as serious as we all made out. After a while I got sick of doing this though, the way I got sick of all of our other phases. I decided I’d tell people that I liked boys so it could stop. After that the relationships obviously stopped happening. I often remember this time of my life with fondness. It is pretty funny to look back on. All of my exes still hold a very special place in the ten year old section of my heart.
Read about my failed homemade bath bomb here.
Watch my experience at a men’s rights event below: