In a brave and touching video recently released by Ulster Bank as part of their UB Yourself celebrations for Dublin Pride, 15 year old Christopher speaks about growing up trans.
Christopher also recently appeared on the pages of GCN’s Pride Issue. The article, ‘Friends Are Family’, highlighted close knit groups of friends who considered themselves family. Christopher was featured along with the best friends he met through the TENI and BeLonG To youth groups.
Opening with Christopher holding an older photo of himself, the video begins with him saying, “I was born a female. As I grew older I just felt different, I didn’t feel comfortable, no matter what.”
As Christopher began his journey, there was a definite lack of support from his peers, “I’d be shoved into lockers and hit and told really nasty things over the internet. I’d feel really down and wouldn’t go out. I’d stay in my room and I just wouldn’t see anybody.”
Christopher worried about telling his mother because: “What was scary about telling my mom was having the fear she wouldn’t be accepting.” At first, his mother was upset and confused, feeling like she had lost a daughter, but support she received from people in work proved to be a huge help.
“There was a colleague that was there. He knew there was something wrong [with me]. I just came out with it, I told him what was going on. He suggested I sign up for the Ulster Bank Rainbow Network. It was set up ten years ago to support their staff in the LGBT+ community…The support from the job was absolutely amazing.”
Christopher pays tribute to his family. “My mum dived in to everything and was so supportive. My family have been very accepting.” Things also picked up for Christopher on the social side too, “I got into a really nice community, loads of people are accepting and I was able to be myself other than trying to hide it from everybody and myself.”
His mother finishes the video by praising her son: “I think he’s so brave, I’m so proud of him, I wouldn’t have been able to do that at that age.”
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