Image by Kyle on Unsplash

This is a response piece to Colm Keena’s article in the Irish Times, published on Saturday June 26th, entitled “Gender Distress, a growing struggle”.

Keena informs the reader that the, “purpose of this article is not to challenge the concept of transgender identity but rather to highlight that there have been significant changes internationally in recent months affecting how young GD patients are being treated, and intense debate as to what might be the best way to respond to the needs of young people with GD.”

Challenging a common — and harmful — narrative around trans kids

As an outspoken mother of a trans child I regularly get asked for interviews and usually I say yes as long as I can be anonymous. I say this because I want to protect as much of my child’s privacy as I can, and while she has said she’s fine with me talking about having a trans kid, she’s still young and might change her mind. So I walk a cautious line of not saying anything I think could one day upset her while also being aware that it’s important the voices of trans kids and their families are heard…

Trying to find a gift for the difficult to buy for person in your life (it’s probably a guy, amirite? Why are they so darn hard to buy for?)

These are all under 50 bucks so won’t break the bank either.

1. This mug! How cool is it? Only €14.99 and available at iwoot

2. Anatomical heart embroidered hoop, €25.46, handmade in Ireland by Emma at The Curious Needle.

Turns out you can be a silly billy and be a business owner

I consider myself to be a reasonably confident person, I feel like I mostly know what my strengths are and, (at least some of) my blind spots. Yet the idea of putting myself out there felt really terrifying.

I was ok with carrying a sign saying I felt fine about the abortion I had, as I walked past a group of very scary anti-choice people (well, I was scared, and I thought I was going to get hurt — but I did it and I’d do it again.)

I was ok with telling the world that I had been raped.

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Remember me? Some of you have no doubt forgotten me, I was probably just another girl in the crowd whose boobs you grabbed as she walked past, a hand up a skirt in a busy nightclub, a nameless, faceless piece of flesh you called a slut and shouted out the things you’d like to do to me as you drove by.

Some of you I expect though, will remember me, though I wonder how and in what ways you think about me, if ever you do. Perhaps I’ve been pushed into that corner of your mind where dark things hide…

Prime Time on RTÉ dedicated an entire show (broadcast on 22.01.19), to transgender people. The show was introduced by Miriam O’Callahan as an examination into, “the exponential growth in the number of young people seeking to change gender, and the implications of the proposed new law allowing them to do so without their parents’ consent.”

Callaghan went on to say that it was a “deeply sensitive and very important issue”. Her admission that the programme knew the issue was sensitive is troubling, given the inflammatory and insensitive way the issues were subsequently handled and framed.

Callaghan continues that, “some doctors”…

Please use the bits you want from this for your own letter. RTE apparently treat copy and paste letters as 1 complaint so feel free to use bits of this but make sure you personalise your letter too. The email address is

RTE have a specific format for complaints, so you’ll find guidelines here if you’re doing your own letter. It’s important to cite the bits of the code and broadcasting act that have been breached.

Dear RTE,

I would like to make an official complaint about the show Prime Time which aired on 22.01.19 …

“The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s hatred of one another was so intense it now has it’s own TV show. I can’t relate to Davis’s joy at pushing someone down the stairs. For all other people have hurt me I would not want to hurt them back. But there are I’m sure, plenty of women who would like to push me down the stairs, either literally or metaphorically.

I’ve started writing this many times in the past and stopped each time as I felt it was somehow not feminist of me or lacking in solidarity to have a go at other…

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“Witch, bitch, slut, whore, murderer, cunt, up-yourself, dangerous,show-off, cult leader”

These are some of the names I’ve been called in the last few years by both men and women. (The murderer part was for speaking about my experience of abortion). I believe the reason I get so much hatred is because I’m a Powerful Woman.

I know that me even saying that about myself is going to irk some people. How dare I claim to be a Powerful woman! I don’t have power in the patriarchal sense of power - I have no political sway, no cash to use to…

I’ve been trying to unpack the art of self-sabotage, since I think I’ve perfected it. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had instead perfected the art of feeling-worthy-while-succeeding-at-life but maybe everyone who gets to that place has had to go through this bit first? Maybe ‘that place’ is sparsely inhabited? Maybe it doesn’t even exist? I’m not there yet so I can’t say.

My acts of self-sabotage were largely a series of unconscious acts. (I say ‘largely’ because I’m very aware some of them were quite deliberate.) In the past I’ve been super at spotting other people’s self-sabotaging acts…

Taryn De Vere

Joy bringer, writer, podcaster, mother of 5, colourful fashionista

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