Fair City actor Jack Murphy opens up on his transition journey

Jack Murphy made history by becoming the first transgender character and actor on the Irish soap when he played Ryan Donnelly. 

Jack Murphy, a young trans man with a beard, smiles at the camera while sitting on a park bench

Fair City actor Jack Murphy has spoken out about his experience transitioning over the past few years, most recently after undergoing a mastectomy. 

Three years ago, Jack had a hysterectomy. Aged 24, he changed his name legally to Jack and was the 97th transgender Irish person to get a passport under his true identity.

Jack says he has dressed in men’s clothes for years but people thought he was a lesbian. “I kind of identified as a lesbian because I didn’t know what it was to be transgender and I didn’t understand it,” he said. 

“It took a few years for me to go online, chat to friends, go on YouTube, go on Google and look up what being transgender meant. I think I saw it on a documentary and I was like ‘that is exactly what I am’, because when I was identifying as a lesbian, I didn’t want to be intimate in a lesbian way. I wanted to be a man and have heterosexual intimate relations,” he added.

Jack said online dating has been frustrating because people frequently ask him questions that cross a line. “I’m talking to this person for five seconds and they’re already starting to talk about my genitals and I’m absolutely sick of it, I’d just block the person. It shouldn’t all be about sex or about your genitals. A person should like a person for being the person, not what’s in their pants.”

After wearing a chest binder for the last several years, Jack underwent surgery last week at a Dublin hospital. He has also been taking testosterone, resulting in his facial and chest hair growing and his voice deepening. He said he’s pleased with the effects so far. His mother Francesca accompanied him and supports his decision. His other family members have also been supportive.

“Once this binder is off in five weeks’ time, then it will kick in. It will be an absolute release once I’m healed.”

Jack highlighted the lack of surgeons in Ireland who perform the surgery. “There’s only one surgeon in Ireland at the moment who does that surgery and she’s actually retiring,” he said. “But there’s someone taking over from here, I hope.” 

The 29 year-old says he would love to do more acting in the future and settle down with someone. After his surgery, he plans to take some time out to let his body recover.

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