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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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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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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