According to the Tavistock Clinic in London, 1,400 children, who were apparently experiencing difficulties around the development of their specific gender identity, applied to have reassignment surgery in the United Kingdom last year. According to Irish statistics – well those I could find, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) – in 2015 the HSE funded six people in their bid to undergo ‘sex change operations’ abroad.
Now for many parents, grandparents and other family members, this type of request from a child/teen/young adult may prove worrying. In fact, in some cases, it could present as a nightmare, but I think these figures are actually good news; happy news in fact, because I believe that when your child is experiencing constant desolation, depression, stress, is self-harming and it’s obvious to you that their general overall mental health and wellbeing is being threatened due to the fact they dropped the bombshell they don’t fit the social norms and are not being accepted for who they really are; then declaring to you that they are trapped in the wrong gender could possibly be more a cause for celebration than fear, disapproval or even anger.
Okay, under the Treatment Abroad Scheme, these HSE funded surgeries were really paid for by you and me; i.e. the taxpayer! And, with the average cost of initial assessment to surgery to us being just over €30 grand – and that’s for male to female procedures, female to male costs a lot more – I suppose when you come to think of it, it’s a bloody expensive way for a person to self-actualise, isn’t it!
However, when Cork sisters Jamie and Chloe O’Herlihy (formerly Cork brothers) and their mam Sarah spoke openly with UTV’s Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning last week regarding their transgender disclosure and journey – leading them to identify as women, both at the same time – I was absolutely gobsmacked at how their amazing mother wasn’t in the least bit fazed by this bolt from the blue. Emphasising her ability to embrace change, Sarah told viewers: “I didn’t have an issue really because I gave birth to two beautiful babies and they’re still my children. Gender isn’t really an issue for me.”
What a cool mother! These two young people are her children, and, with a mother’s love, with a mother’s acceptance, this Cork woman, this Irish mammy, has managed to skilfully and compassionately evaluate her children’s gender identity without any bias whatsoever.
Look folks, it’s a fact that transgender people, or those who don’t conform to gender stereotypes have always existed; however, sadly, for many, due to possibly facing gigantic social obstacles such as isolation, bullying, segregation and the lack of support and rejection from family, friends and work colleagues, they’ve been forced to conceal and suppress their gender identities.
However, thankfully now, with increasing openness, acceptance and inclusiveness, more and more members of this marginalised group are happily and safely expressing how they feel, with families and mothers like Sarah O’Herlihy openly showing unequivocal love and support for their child’s identity. Thanks to the O’Herlihy ladies for being brave enough to step forward, pave the way and support each other in what has obviously been a positive change in all of their lives.
As a mother I know there is absolutely no greater love in our lives than that of those whom, when they were babies, based their entire world around our pride, our nurturing and our acceptance of them. Okay, at times, they behaved like spoiled brats and we wanted to run a mile from them; however, when they’re facing a personal crisis, we drop everything and we run to their rescue…been there, done that, even flew halfway across the world at the drop of a hat once for one of my divas; (but sin scéal eile); only to find out when I got there that it was a very trivial hiccup (could have strangled her); but sure I’m her mammy, I heard she was feeling ill and I hopped on a plane…as ya do.
What I’m saying is, unconditional love is the key to your child’s happiness…but sure that’s something every parent will understand. Well done to the O’Herlihy’s.
The hysterical howl-fest is back!
It would seem to me that even though nobody of sound mind and hearing is buying the dire recordings of some, ahem, talent show winners these days, the likes of Simon Cowell’s X Factor still manages to entice thousands of puddle deep, disingenuous, delusional ‘popstars’ each year; hooking eejits, sorry viewers like me for the thirteenth season.
Sniffing failure a mile away and feeling truly underwhelmed, I danced round the sitting room, slice of Dominos in one hand, hairbrush in the other, all my attention on the TV, (clearly I had nothing better to do), as I watched the good, the bad and the truly bizarre. And I’m talkin’ bout da real deal here, urban girl Honey G who woz gettin’ jiggy with it, nomsayin’ dude; and, ahem, gangsta’s paradise style, er, she gave it!
Yeah mon, she delivered, she brung it and murdered, sorry rapped out Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It.’ Yeah, the Nicki Minaj wannabe from North ‘Weezy’ (West Landan innit) Honey G, lookin’ like she could be the love child of David Cameron and Tulisa, made my ears bleed as I watched what can only be described as the world’s largest karaoke contest. (And no, I haven’t suddenly lost the will to spell, just the will to live folks). And yes, while there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Honey G, who didn’t so much rap, rather she spewed out egregiously stilted lumps of lyrics, is chock-full of self-confidence and there is nothing wrong with that at all, at all folks…however, what this woman really needs to balance her a bit is a touch of good old-fashioned self-awareness.
BTW, welcome back Louis; we’ve missed you.
O’Dowd stands out from the crowd!
Roscommon’s most famous son, homeboy hero Chris O’Dowd, has reportedly netted the lead role in the Get Shorty movie franchise, however, this time it will be played out in a living room near you as it’s being made for the small screen.
Super-hot, O’Dowd is an unlikely heartthrob who has managed to make a major splash across the pond; quickly making him one of the most bankable stars Hollywood has ever been lucky enough to have. And fair play to him; he’s a genuinely nice guy, whom, despite his rising status, appears to be bombproofed against the arrogance and egotistical shenanigans often displayed by many so-called high profile celebrities…and believe me I’ve met my share.
However, what makes Chris stand out most is not his acting…which is pretty impressive; but his friendliness, his professionalism, his gentlemanly manners and his ability to never forget where he came from. Yeah, the boy from Boyle defo done good!