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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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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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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A Letter About Me-Danú Connolly Fanning.

Now that I’ve made my ebook “Just Saying” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the unseen chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in September 2016.

A few weeks ago I set Danú a task; to write me a chapter for this book. I did this for two reasons. 1) I knew how sick of my voice every reader would be at this point and 2) Her and I have one of the most special relationships that’s currently in my life. I told her that it could be however long and be about whatever she wanted. I wanted it to be honest and reflective of our relationship. The result was slightly more honest than I actually expected but I appreciate that. I’ll shut up now and let her speak.

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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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