As more individuals embrace their true selves, the Celtic nations undergo a transition in identity.
Sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) can be dated back to the early 20th century, with gender transitioning reaching even further into the past. Denmark native Lili Elbe – the inspiration for David Ebershoff’s international bestselling novel, and subsequent film, The Danish Girl – was the first SRS recipient on record, undergoing the procedure in 1930.
Introspection is a series in which my current nineteen-year-old self has imaginary interactions with my fifteen-year-old self. For more information, click here.
I pour the last drop from a pot of peppermint tea into my mug, taking a long sip. On the table sits my sunglasses, my notebook, the novel I’m currently reading and my phone. They all sit untouched, I’m too distracted to write, read or check social media.
I’m in the lobby of a hotel in Kilmuckridge, the village where I attended school. It’s so strange to sit here again, in the place where I used to often meet my friends, none of whom I’ve spoken to in a very long time.
Introspection is the act of looking within oneself.
I believe in introspection and I believe that when embarking on a journey of introspection, it’s vital to delve back into your past. I find it tough to write about my past in a way that honours my younger self. And there’s so much to talk about in my present that I often end up writing about that instead.
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.
Viewers have applauded transgender teen David Beattie for his bravery speaking about his transition on The Late Late Show.
Some may the teenager recognise from Vogue William’s documentary on the trans community where she talked to many about their transitions.
“I’ve never had bad experiences – but when I transferred to secondary school, it was very different,” he said.
My parents separated when I was 10. That should be a reason to feel sorry for me, but it’s not. Although it was an important moment in my life, it didn’t have a huge negative impact on me. My parents handled their separation in the most admirable way. They prioritised myself and my sisters, making sure that our wellbeing was intact over anything else. Now, my sisters and I have a great relationship with both of my parents. And even though they’ve been separated for a number of years and they’ve both found new partners, my parents also remain great friends. Today I sit down with my Mam to really get a sense of why this is the case.
Body image is something that I’ve personally struggled with in the past. It’s not an easy thing to come to terms with, by any means. But after hearing the story of Aoife Kearns’ struggles with accepting her body type, I felt compelled to discuss it. Aoife and I once had a very honest and open discussion. A discussion which later prompted me to write about my eating disorder. Aoife has a lot to say about body image. And I was eager to listen.
When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny by Blythe Baird.
Thinking back on it, my first encounter with Róisin Chapman was on a night out. She was bubbly, very funny and extremely approachable. We became fast friends and have stayed that way ever since. What I didn’t notice that night was that Róisin didn’t have a drink in her hand. In fact, I didn’t notice until after we had been on a few nights out together. I don’t know why I’m surprised really, it’s not as though it would be something that would stick out. But Róisin only spoke to me about it when I asked her. She needed no validation, no reassurance and no one’s opinion. That was something that I truly loved. The ability to do something without making a fuss.
None of my family batted an eyelid when my sister Emma brought Thabani home to meet us over two years ago. He was a polite, humorous, normal young man who was clearly good for my sister. That was all that mattered to us. It was only when people started to question me about both mine and my family’s reactions that I realised it was a big deal for some people. When Emma later told me about some of her experiences, I was shocked. I could not believe some of the things that she’s encountered in this day and age. I thought that Emma’s perspective was a unique one. The partner of a black man, who has grown up with a privilege and a different life than him, experiencing what he has to face for the first time.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I spent ten years of my life, from the time that I was eight until I was 18, living in the country. Something that strikes me from those years is that rural Ireland still has so far to come in terms of diversity. I loved and continue to love the countryside, but it never really loved me. Although I always had supportive friends and family, harassment on the streets was something that I faced on a daily basis. My friends from Dublin try to understand, but I don’t really think they can. That’s why I so value being in the company of Catherine Devane. She’s a student, a blogger and one of my best friends. I first met her in college. She had lived her whole life in rural Ireland, specifically Dingle, only coming to Dublin at 18 and observing a huge difference. I was eager to pick her brain about that difference.
Check out Catherine’s blog.
I’m sure that everyone knows someone who suffers from anxiety. It’s not a new condition by any means. It’s defined as a type of fear that’s usually associated with the thought of a threat or something being wrong, but it can also arise from something that is happening right now. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting forty million adults aged 18 or older. These conditions are highly treatable yet only one third of those suffering will actually receive the correct treatment. I met Isabelle on the first week of college. We got to chatting and we discovered that we have a lot in common. A similar sense of humour, a similar outlook on human rights issues and a love for Marilyn Monroe. Isabelle is someone that I greatly admire. People seem to foolishly expect that an anxiety disorder is an easy thing to spot in a person, but this is not the case with Isabelle. She’s a gorgeously kind, bubbly person whose personality shines through when you talk to her. She works hard, socialises and lives an overall very glamorous life. I had a lot of questions. And I was so delighted that she was eager to answer them. What I discovered only made me admire her more.
Check out Isabelle’s blog.
When I was in sixth class, we had a woman come in to build our class relationship. Thinking back, we must have had a lot of confrontation to need that particular talk but none of us noticed this at the time. Everyone had to make a paper fan and it was passed around. Everyone wrote their opinion of that person on each line of the fan. This was what was written on mine:
David Beattie is 18 years old. He has just self-published his first book called ‘Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen’. He is in the early stages of transitioning to a female called Laylah. He joins Ray this afternoon to share his story publicly for the first time.
The first thing you notice about David Beattie is his height. At 6’2, he towers over lesser mortals. The next is his stylish dress sense. What is less obvious is that David is an articulate and sensitive 18-year-old, who has recently self-published an autobiography about growing up trans in Ireland.