As an author, blogger and model, DAVID BEATTIE, 19, is also a LEADING VOICE in TRANSGENDER RIGHTS in Ireland and beyond…
On finding my voice: I’ve always had a very strong sense of what’s right and wrong and I’ve always fought for what I believed in, particularly when it came to my right to identify and exist however I wanted to. When I began transitioning, I found I had a lot to say about my experiences of the world. I thought the media represented being trans as a very negative thing, as though you automatically had an awful life just because you were born in the wrong body. I wanted to talk about my own experience which was very different from that so I wrote my first book (Who Cares) and it all grew from there. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t like the world you’re living in, you should do what you can to change it.
Gareth is a handsome, bearded 20-year-old, studying and working. He drinks, he smokes, he has a group of guy friends around him and he meets girls on nights out. He’s also been a crossdresser since he was 10 years old.
He doesn’t see this as a big deal, but nevertheless he keeps it private. His name has been changed for the sake of this article which is what we both decided was for the best. Crossdressing is a very misunderstood form of expression, meaning that you won’t find many people who have the strength to be open about it.
Transgender teen David Beattie is in the midst of transitioning to female – though still identifying as David – and chats about how watching a Caitlyn Jenner documentary helped him realise his true self.
I first met David when we started college. We were opposites. He was tall and blonde, and I was small and brunette. Since then he has just gone from strength to strength, probably due to the addition of me in his life. Writing his first book at eighteen, last week having his television debut and creating this successful podcast series. So I think it’s high time we get to know a little bit more about our host.
The 30-year-old presenter investigates issues affecting the lives of her own generation, starting with people who do not identify with their gender.
Plans for DIT to include gender neutral toilets in the new Grangegorman campus have been met with praise, but some students are concerned that there are no such facilities in other DIT campuses.
The new campus will include accessible toilets in each of the buildings, and all future buildings on the new campus will also have gender neutral toilets as well as traditional toilets.
David Beattie, a second year Journalism student based in the Aungier Street campus, who is currently in the process of gender transitioning, says that students should feel comfortable while attending their present designated campus.
In “Who Cares?” (I find myself constantly saying that) I wrote a chapter about men. But what about the BOYS in my life? The ones who I socialise with. The ones who I’ve grown up with. The ones who I usually encounter. The ones who are in my age-group. The one’s that I interact with in a non-romantic way?
I could probably count the number of boys that I’m currently particularly friendly with (or should I say that are particularly friendly with me) on one finger. Does this upset me? A tiny little bit. But I’m not interested in trying to impress boys. Because boys have almost always tried to avoid me. And I don’t really feel the need to compensate for that.
I say it all the time. You never really realise how often we encounter the issue of gender until you’ve stepped outside of the “traditional” gender roles. Simple mind-sets and actions can actually make a gender non-conforming person feel extremely uncomfortable or unwelcome. Here are some of those situations.
When your child sees me on the street and turns to ask you “is that a boy or a girl?” this is what you do.
Do not shush them and usher them away from me. Do not pretend it didn’t happen. Do not simply smile at me sympathetically. And definitely do not say “I don’t know.”
I will never be offended by the words of your child. They have an excuse. The only thing that can offend me is your reaction. You do not.
It happened to me for the first time when I went out this week. A bouncer began to get angry about my gender when he saw my ID. I’d heard of it happening, I’d heard how horrific it is, I wasn’t prepared. (Side note: without intending to be sexist, women bouncers never ever make me feel uncomfortable. In fact, last time I encountered a female bouncer, she told me that I looked like Cara Delevingne. Yes, I did have to include that).
Many people struggle to understand the nature of the gender binary and the nature of the non-binary community. People constantly get confused and intimidated by people who challenge the idea of gender and gender stereotypes. Often, I find people looking to me for answers, which is quite ridiculous. The only part of the gender binary that I am familiar with is my own part, in which I am transgender and do not fit into the gender binary.
In “Who Cares” I spoke about a spot of trouble that I got into when I was 16 and was caught using the “wrong” changing rooms for P.E. “I was spotted a second time a few months later and was given an official school detention. A female teacher sat down to explain to me why I couldn’t change in the girl’s dressing room.”
After this occurred I had many emotions swirling around inside me. I wasn’t aware that I was trans at the time but It’s very clear that I was aware of some personal turmoil relating to my gender. I wrote my teacher the following letter, although I’ve edited it somewhat for the sake of her privacy.
With Joan Burton’s recent gender recognition bill coming to force, the journey of a transgender citizen in Ireland has become much easier. People can now change their legal gender of their own accord without diagnosis from endocrinologists or psychiatrists. However the struggle for transgender citizens is still an uphill battle. There are reports of this issue existing in all cultures, even in animals. In spite of this the supports for people who need to transition in Ireland are sadly lacking according to experts. Ireland was the last country in the EU to legally recognise transgender people.