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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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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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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Doubt.

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.

In life, amongst other things, we have to battle two forms of doubt. The doubt that we have in our minds and the doubt that others have. Each is cruel. Each is horrible. I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to deal with these. I wish I didn’t have to deal with these. Are these two forms of doubt related? Of course. They walk hand in hand with one another. Other people’s doubt can make your doubt stronger and more relentless. The less self-doubt you have, the less other people’s doubts affect you.

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My Generation.

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 born into an odd generation. We’re all familiar with the technological advances and the social networking and blah blah blah. I feel like this chapter is going to make an awful lot of older people roll their eyes. I don’t care. I love my generation. I love them. I think they’re wonderful and I think they get an unjust, cruel treatment. When I was younger I played outside and did all of that stuff. I had fun with my friends and played lots of imaginary games. I watched a lot of TV and I played computer games too. When I was in primary school I joined Facebook along with a lot of my peers. I went on to join Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. My favourite is Snapchat. I’m a weirdo who loves to post what they’re doing and see what everyone else is doing too.

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Men.

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 mentioned my bad opinion of men and I feel like I should explain myself. Once again I do not intend to offend anybody with this chapter but I probably will because people love to find an excuse to be offended by reasonable arguments. Please bear in mind that I grew up in a small, rural area. Also bear in mind that I was and am friends with many boys that I respect and appreciate. I am not trying to generalise all men. I’m just being as honest as I can. This bad opinion of men is not something that I acknowledge to myself very often but it is definitely there. It is difficult for me to talk about it but that’s not going to stop me. Some would like to blame this outlook on the lack of a positive male figure in my life. Sorry to disappoint, but I have a great relationship with my father and I always have. I also have numerous male relations who I respect and admire.

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Change.

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.

Everyone says it but I’m not sure that everyone understands it. Change is inevitable. You cannot stop change. Ten years ago your life was completely different and in ten years time your life will be completely different. Everything has changed and will continue to change. Our feelings change, our opinions change, our understanding changes, our outlook changes, our dreams change, even our looks change. Something you thought was inexcusable last year you could be doing now. You could be married to someone you once hated. You could never speak to someone you once loved. You could wake up one day and realise that you no longer want what once made you happy. Getting annoyed or sad about change is like getting annoyed or sad about the weather (which I know some people do). You can try to ignore it or control it all you want but you can’t stop it.

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My Relationship With Food.

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.

This chapter will be rather difficult to write in an honest fashion, but I think that I can do it. I’ve always had an odd relationship with food. I suppose you could say that I’ve had some form of an eating disorder, something that probably never goes away. It never got dangerous, but it did get kind of scary. I’ve never thought that I was fat or anywhere near being fat. But there was a time when I thought that I could not be skinny enough. I suppose that it started when I was around 15. I had a major growth spurt at this time and as I grew upwards I also grew inwards. I didn’t even really notice this happening. I’d never been fat and weight really wasn’t a thing that I thought about. The first time that someone pointed it out to me was a strange experience. At first I looked down at myself and thought, “she’s right, I am really skinny.” But then I started to think, “isn’t that a good thing though? Isn’t that what everyone wants? Isn’t my body like the ones we all look at in magazines and envy.”

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Friends

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 had many friends over the years. Many people who have come in and out of my life and I am grateful for each and every one of them. When you’re young, friendships end all of the time. I’ve lost many people along the way but that is okay. It’s natural for this to happen. I wasn’t always good to my friends. I went through a long journey in which I learned how to be a good friend. I’d like to think that I’m a better friend now. I try to be there for my friends as much as I can. Because that’s all you can do at the end of the day. Be there when they need you and be there when they don’t. I have many people that I count as my friends. Many people that I really appreciate and that I love to spend time with. There are too many to discuss in this chapter. Instead I’ll just talk about the people currently in my life that I spend the most time with. It is not my intention to offend anyone in this chapter. I love all of my friends dearly and it’s difficult for me to omit people. However I must.

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The City

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.

When my friends and I started to gain a bit more independence around the age of 15 we began to visit Dublin. We couldn’t do it as much as we would have liked because you needed money, but we did it every now and again. We would get the unreliable bus service from Gorey to Dublin which is little over an hour’s journey. I used to adore these trips. I’ve always had an appreciation for the city. I would look at pictures of New York and London on my laptop and get thrills in the core of my stomach. I always knew that I’d end up there. When researching colleges I looked at no options outside of Dublin. That was always where I needed to be. I adore Dublin. I’m not comparing it to New York or London but it is a good compromise for now.

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The Country

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 feel like this chapter might offend many people and that really isn’t my intention. When I speak about the countryside please keep in mind that I saw a very ugly side to the place that I lived during my time there. I’m not trying to make a generalisation about country people or country towns. I encountered many people that I adored and continue to adore during my time in Wexford. I still enjoy my visits home but in this chapter I am going to be honest about my past experiences. I can’t change the fact that I didn’t fit in in the countryside. I can’t change the fact that I had some bad experiences and have been left a little traumatised from living there. I can only be honest about all of it and say that none of it matters to me anymore. We move on from things like that but that doesn’t make any of it right.

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Personality.

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.

Writing this chapter, I feel an equal amount of dread and excitement. This whole book will probably end up being about my personality. So this chapter is not so much about my personality but about how I came to develop it. So how do I write this without sounding arrogant or self-obsessed? I don’t know. I’m going to be as honest as I can and let people draw their own conclusions. Because at the end of the day it’s none of my business what people think of me. So let me start by saying that I adore myself (what a great start to not sounding arrogant.) I can feel your eyes rolling but read on and find out how I came to be one of those rare human beings that actually loves themselves.

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Appearance.

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 happy with my appearance. I know Irish people aren’t supposed to say that but I don’t care. For a long time I was very unhappy with how I looked but I am finally in a place where I can recognise my own beauty. I am currently 6”2 which means that I tower over most people. Growing up I was always a tall child. This was a fact that I despised.

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Family.

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.

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The Day That I Was Born, According to my Mam.

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.

The day you were born was one of the happiest days of my life. I wasn’t able to sleep the night before as I was having contractions. I left your Dad sleeping, got up and paced from the back door to the front door for a few hours and then they stopped. I eventually went to bed and slept for a few hours and when I woke up I was fine so I just presumed that they were Braxton Hicks! Your dad went to work and I brought your sister Emma up to school, she was in junior infants. Then I was very restless so I decided to go down to see your aunty Anne with your other sister Rachael.

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About “Who Cares?”

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.

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