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 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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Trans-Celtic

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.

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Friends-Interaction Three

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.

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Introspection-Introduction.

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.

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I’ve Learned When To Shut Up.

It might be somewhat ironic for me to write an essay entitled “I’ve learned when to shut up” when I never actually seem to shut up but stick with me. I don’t make comments on people’s appearances, or at least I try really, really hard not to. That’s it. I’m not trying to convince you to copy me or to suggest that this makes me any happier or better or more easy-going than you. In fact I don’t really feel the need to broadcast this fact very often. I don’t take some moral high ground when it comes to personal comments, I just try not to make them.

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The Alfie Diaries-Saying Goodbye

After I had moved out of the house, I used to miss Alfie like crazy. Because I could barely ever get an opportunity to visit home, I rarely got to see any of my animals (something I hated). When Christmas came along last year, I had finally put aside a large chunk of time that I’d be able to spend at home. Amongst other things, I was very much looking forward to getting some quality time with Alfie.

When I got home, I used to spend my days catching up on writing. I’d lock myself into the office in our house and do my very best not to get distracted, but Alfie would not take no for an answer. He’d scratch and jump at the door until I let him in and then he’d pace the office, coming over to me every now and again and putting his head in my lap. I’m ashamed to say that I was quite intolerant of this and would often end up putting him outside.

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The Alfie Diaries-Comfort

When I’d had my heart broken at seventeen and began to suffer from a bout of intense depression, I was in the house more and more often. Neither of my sisters lived at home and I felt embarrassed confiding my heartbreak to my Mam, which meant that I sought refuge in Alfie an awful lot.

I often used to sit in the garden, writing in my diary or reading on an old picnic blanket. He’d run around the garden checking on our chickens, cats and horse but he’d always come back to check on me too. Sometimes he’d sit on the blanket with me, his head in my lap or he’d just watch me while I wrote furiously. He could be incredibly inconvenient, stepping on my diary or my book as I tried to distract myself from my pain, but I could never be mad at him for it.

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The Alfie Diaries-Cheekiness

There were a lot of things Alfie did that make me laugh out loud when I think about them. He was such a funny and cheeky dog and my whole family couldn’t help but love him for that.

I remember I once walked out to the hall in our house and found him standing with all four legs squished onto our tiny windowsill.  He tried to turn his head to look at me and almost fell, managing to balance himself at the last minute. I immediately collapsed into laughter for a minute before I could pull myself together enough to help him down.

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Meet “Gareth” a 20-year-old Crossdresser

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.

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Lessons I’ve Learned From Dublin Bus

This chapter was inspired by this post written by a wonderful friend of mine, Isabelle Evans. 

I’ve been using Dublin bus almost every day for about a year and a half now. Because of my travel card, I can get loads of buses every day without spending loads of money. Believe me when I say that I take advantage of this. Here are some of the lessons that I’ve learned from the wonderful/horrific thing that is Dublin bus.

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Praise as David tells transgender story to Tubridy

There has been widespread praise for North Wexford teenager David Beattie who shared his transgender story with Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show last Friday night.

The 19-year-old journalism student told Ryan that he realised he was transgender two years ago, and he has now begun his journey to become female, and will be known as Laylah. He estimates it could take up to five years for the transition to be complete, and he still identifies as male.

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Goss.ie: Viewers applaud transgender teen’s bravery on The Late Late Show

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.

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