Since publishing his first article with GCN in August this year about how overcoming obstacles relating to his disability helped him to come to terms with his trans identity, writer Peter Murphy shares how attending Galway Pride Week enabled him to come out to his family.
I attended my first proper Pride events during Galway Pride Week this year. I went to two wondrous events, the flag-raising and the BTQI+ tea party. The confidence and affirmation I gained from attending helped me to officially come out, and I am a lot more open with others and myself about not only my gender but my sexuality, too.
On August 7, I was delighted to go to the first Pride flag-raising I would ever attend. I was so nervous I almost didn’t go, but I had a feeling in my gut, so I followed it and ended up having one of the best times of my life.
A charming, lovely, fellow trans man read an inspiring and heart-wrenching poem titled ‘If I Could Build A Boy’. It was a jarringly emotional poem about his experience of being a trans man in Ireland.
I was so inspired by his words that they brought me out of my shell and gave me the confidence to approach him. We got talking and realised we had a lot in common. We exchanged numbers and chatted a lot that day over WhatsApp.
I also met a lovely person who was very punk rock and made me feel very masculine. They complimented my denim jacket and said my pins were cool, so I got their contact information, too.
At the Pride tea party, I talked up a storm, so much so the sighted person I attended the event with – I go to a day service for disabled young people, and they had kindly offered to guide me to the event, as I’m blind and struggle with new places – said she had never seen me like that. I was a different man, and that gladdened my heart.
I was talking to a lovely girl for most of the event, who kindly let me sit with her after I’d bought some pronoun and trans flag pins.
I made so many friends and truly came out of my shell at both events, and would have been delighted to attend more, but unfortunately, a lot were scheduled in the evening in places I’d never been, so I sadly couldn’t attend.
I would also have adored to go to the parade, but I was due to attend Comic-Con in Dublin on the same day so I had to miss it.
Coming out was something I had anticipated for a few years, but I was absolutely terrified of my parent’s reaction to my being their transgender son and not their daughter.
As it turned out, unbeknownst to me, they’d both known since 2021 when they had found out via text messages the police had uncovered when I was being groomed online – thankfully an episode I am almost fully healed from now.
We never discussed the subject of my being trans after that until I was in town with my mother, and I was accidentally called out by a friend using my preferred name and pronouns.
She was incredibly supportive and advised that we tell my dad soon. She assured me that she would fight anyone who told me that I had to hide this because she could see it was hurting me.
She was kind enough to offer to help me come out to other family members and my father, who I was most anxious to tell. So, on October 13, 2023, I officially came out.
I feel so free that both of my parents now know that I’m their son and that I’m happy being me, even though I have a hard road ahead and being trans is an added complication to that, but it’s a battle I’m set on fighting.
Aside from giving me the strength to come out about my gender identity, I mentioned that attending Pride Week helped me to open up about my sexuality. Well, I fell for someone.
Remember the poet? After hearing his poetry and approaching him, I had been bolstered enough to ask him for his number.
We started out as friends but felt deeper feelings for each other by the day. At the end of September, we both told each other how we felt. I was absolutely relieved that it wasn’t one-sided, the kind of love I’d been used to from previous crushes. He liked me back!
We went for a picnic in early October, held hands and took photos, it was the best day I had in a while, and now, it’s been two months since we’ve been together.
My parents know that I have feelings for him, and my mum, specifically, knows that I intend to say something about that. But again, sadly, no one apart from my friends knows we’re dating.
He’s patient, supportive, and amazing; he told me that he doesn’t mind if I don’t tell them for a bit.
I can’t believe the growth I have gone through this year, which is amazing. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to be myself and not have to worry about being outed in public.
I never thought I would find a love like the one that I found either, but here we are, and I couldn’t be happier.
So that’s how Pride Week changed my life. Who knows what the year ahead holds for me?
What I do know is next year, I’m planning to go to the spring edition of Comic-Con, which means I’ll be free to attend so many more events during Galway Pride 2024, and I am so excited about that!
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