Friday’s Late Late Show featured an interview with two men who appear in a new documentary series on RTÉ called My Trans Life.
Nicky Manning and Luke O’Reilly Kane bravely shared their experience with Ryan and spoke about their transition and background.
Nicky who is 24 years old spoke about growing up feeling different in society.
“I’m from Inchicore. When I grew up, I was a bit of a tomboy, thinking that was natural and thinking ‘Aw yeah, I’ll play with the boys and I’ll be into the girl’s stuff eventually.’ As soon as I got older, that wasn’t what that was. Growing up I just always wanted to be around the boys. I wanted to be one of them. I didn’t be with them if that makes sense.
He spoke about the daily struggles of going to a girls school, is expected to dress up in feminine clothes for occasions like his confirmation.
Ryans then spoke to Luke, 19 years old, who explained how he always loved the great outdoors having travelled a lot with his parents from a young age.
“I liked going out to the desert, or out to the mountains in Ireland. I was a really big animal lover. When I was a kid, I loved to be with the boys and I said: “I wish I was a boy.” I was kinda like, ‘I wish I could be a boy but obviously, I can’t.’ I really wanted to say it and ask my parents “Why am I a girl? Why can’t I be a boy?” Because I didn’t have the language, and I didn’t know anybody like me, it was hard.”
Nicky shared how puberty and secondary school were particularly hard.
“It would have been the start of my teens – obviously going through puberty. That was hard for me, in the sense, in school it was really hard for me. My mam had to have meetings over the fact I was using my bottoms underneath my skirt. I was just never comfortable wearing that.
“You know who you are. Everybody knows who they are. I knew if I didn’t make the [decision to transition] for myself, that I wouldn’t be here now.”
When asked what he meant by this, Nicky explained that coming out as transgender saved his life.
“You do what you do for yourself. Y’know. At the end of the day, everybody only has one life. It’s okay to care for people, but at the end of the day, when it comes down to it I think you need to do what you need to do for yourself to be happy.”
Luke also spoke about how puberty was very difficult.
“I started binding my chest down. I was putting on 7 or 8 bras every day to flatten it as much as I could. I felt embarrassed.”
Nicky added that even in 2018, being transgender can be very lonely.
“Society doesn’t understand it enough. They think it’s attention seeking. The surgeries we go through, the hormone replacement we go through – all we’re doing, we’re only human. We bleed the same blood. We just want to be accepted, we just want to get on with our lives.”
Many people watching the show took to Twitter to react to the segment and the overall reaction was very positive with many applauding Nicky and Luke for their bravery.
THIS is what courage looks like.
These are the people who sacrifice so much just to be who they truly are.
It's usually the haters that are the ones so afraid of being their true selves and hate them for being so brave.
— Lenny TodayFM (@MarkLennyskillz) May 18, 2018
Such brave guys. Luke’s Mum is great too
— Debbie O'Donnell (@debbie_odonnell) May 18, 2018
The #LateLate audience cheering & clapping two transgender men.
Jesus, we've come a long way. Lets never go back.
— Daithi K. (@tvcritics) May 18, 2018
Here’s hoping this discussion and the doc they feature in ‘My Trans Life’ will educate the people of Ireland and help anyone struggling with their gender identity too
— Anthony Geoghegan Jr (@anthony7jr) May 18, 2018
There was a small number of negative comments under the #LateLate hashtag.
Many were quick to counter their ignorant comments.
Why are Irish people so obsessed with judging people for living their lives and not hurting anyone? Those two men are delighted they found themselves. What harm are they doing to you? All I can say is in the least polite way possible: fuck off. #LateLate #LateLateShow
— Elaine Róisín (@elaineroisin) May 18, 2018
If you missed the first episode of My Trans Life, you can catch up on RTÉ player. Episode 2 will air on RTÉ 2, Thu 24 May at 21:30.
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