Primary School Romances

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.

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Selfishness

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 believe that people have the wrong idea about selfishness. They think that it’s a sin to be selfish when it’s exactly how you should be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising that you don’t consider everyone around you because you care about yourself more, or to put your priorities ahead of everyone else’s. All I suggest is that you put your priorities on a par with those of other people. You are important. You are worth your own time. So you should treat yourself as such. Don’t let people convince you that it’s wrong to want the best for yourself. Don’t let them tell you that you shouldn’t prevent yourself from getting hurt. That you shouldn’t follow your dreams or treat yourself with the utmost respect. That you shouldn’t occasionally make decisions that no one in your life agrees with or that you shouldn’t be slightly vain. For some reason society likes to teach us that these things are wrong and we usually listen.

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#MeToo

I’ve intended to write about this for almost a year now. But for some reason, every time I’ve thought about it, something has made me put it off. This is going to be difficult, but I’m reassured by the courage of everyone who has spoken out before me about this very important issue. I had a scary sexual experience with a man in power. I’m terrified to admit this.

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Laylah Talks Trans Identity

One such youth is Laylah Beattie, a 20 year old blogger, journalist and social activist who prides herself on being an outspoken voice for the trans community. She is a keen writer, and poet, and articulately charts her experiences of life as an Irish trans woman on her ”Laylah Talks” site. She has even written an autobiography entitled ”Who Cares” to 5 star Amazon reviews, and made appearances on the Late Late Show, just recently alongside Caitlyn Jenner. Beattie is clearly not backward in coming forward about her life thus far. As such, she was only too happy to speak with me about points of interest such as her transition, gender norms, transphobia and how life has changed since Laylah came to light.

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The Bathroom

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.

Something that I don’t admit very often is that bathrooms are an issue for me. It seems obvious but I still don’t talk about it that much. I don’t feel anxious very often but the bathroom is one rare moment when I do. Walking through the door I have no idea who’s going to be on the other side. Will they just keep going about their business? Will they stare at me? Will they laugh? Will they say something rude? I’ve had all of these things happen to me. Most of the time I can laugh about it. I laugh when an old man tells me that “this is the boy’s bathroom.” I laugh when I’m standing at the sink and a man comes in only to see me, apologise and walk out. I laugh when someone looks me up and down or when they ask whether I’m a boy or a girl. I especially laugh when someone sees me while they are standing at a urinal and immediately shields their penis as if I get my kicks entering the bathroom purely to catch a glimpse of their penis urinating. I laugh because it’s useless to get annoyed or upset about it. Most of the time, I tell my friends about it later and we all laugh together. I have to say, the embarrassing experiences have reduced since I moved to the city because people there are more used to diversity.

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You and Your Brain.

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 have a theory about humans. I think that we mainly consist of two things. The soul and the brain. They are two separate entities, completely unrelated to one another, that live inside of us. They are, what some people refer to as the head and the heart. The soul could be thought of as a bright light that floats through our bodies, while the brain is a gooey pink lump inside our skulls. Because of this, it’s only natural to assume that the brain houses all of our insecurities and worries. The brain is sensitive and nervous. It panics in difficult situations and worries that no one likes it. It also thinks about life in a negative fashion and believes that it will never be good enough. It’s cautious around the soul, as they are completely opposite to one another. For many people, I believe that it rules the body more than the soul does. I’m not a big fan of the brain, although I definitely recognize why it’s necessary. That sounds like such an idiotic thing to say but I think my brain holds me back an awful lot. However, I’m always working on preventing that from being the case.

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The Importance of Gender Neutral Bathrooms.

This year, DIT added 47 gender neutral bathrooms across its different campuses. As a transgender female, I believe that this development hasn’t come a moment too soon. It would be easy to disregard the need for gender neutral bathrooms and of course many people do. I have no doubt that this development has prompted a number of conversations between DIT students expressing their doubts about them. But for a gender nonconforming person, this simple action could be making a world of difference.

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Criticism

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.

Criticism, unfortunately, is a massive part of this world. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve received an awful lot of criticism during my time. Everyone undergoes scrutiny and judgement, even if they don’t know it. This scrutiny can be from family, friends, acquaintances, enemies and strangers. This is a fact that I have really struggled and continue to struggle to come to terms with. I think the hardest part about knowing yourself as well as I do is that other people don’t know you. People love to tell you what you are, what you were and what you’re going to be. How do we keep sane? We don’t listen. Honestly, I’m not good at this. Nothing annoys me more than people jumping to conclusions about things that they know nothing about. I’ve always resented it. Humans are assholes. We all are. We assume that we understand and know things better than other people when the truth is, and I sense you won’t be appeased by this, the only things that you can truly understand are what’s in your own head. Even if you know every detail of a situation you don’t understand people’s perspectives. You don’t understand people’s emotions and reactions to things. You don’t understand the different boundaries and limits that another person has even if that person is your own child.

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Idols

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 believe that it is important to pick idols. To choose people who represent what you want to be. Over time I’ve had many idols. They were mostly good people and mostly blonde. I am unsure whether that last fact was merely a coincidence. You can see quotes from some of my various idols at the top of each chapter. These are quotes that I constantly think about and attempt to live by. My first ever idol was Shakira. I loved everything about Shakira when I was about 5 or 6. I listened to her albums constantly and danced along with her video to “Whenever, Wherever.” I still enjoy Shakira’s music to this day and think she is a beautiful person. Although I would not count her as my idol because I no longer know enough about her.

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Crushes

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 thought it was only natural to follow up a chapter about love with a chapter about crushes. I am no more an expert about crushes than I am about love, however, I have had a crush or two in my time. I have also watched many of my friends develop crushes with fascination as they have played out in a positive or negative (mostly negative) fashion. I feel like an American 14-year-old using the word crush but I don’t know what else to call it. Infatuation? Obsession? Stupidity? Torture?

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Love

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.

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