Saturday 21 July 2018

First Dates Ireland pairs first ever transgender dater Laylah with pansexual Kyle who battled cancer at 17

Laylah on First Dates Ireland
Laylah on First Dates Ireland
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

First Dates Ireland sees two first time blind daters share their very personal stories with each other on tonight's Valentine's Eve episode.

Kyle Twomey (19) from Cork opens up about his battle with cancer having been diagnosed with testicular cancer at 17 which was then found to have spread to his abdomen and lungs.

Eighteen months later he underwent more chemo as cancer was showing up in his blood although his scans were not showing any tumours.

“It has made me realise how near you can be to everything gone, so [I'm] just trying to live life properly and do anything and everything,” he tells his date Laylah on tonight's episode.

Kyle from Cork on First Dates Ireland
Kyle from Cork on First Dates Ireland

“I’m lucky to be alive. If I had waited another three months I wouldn’t have made Christmas they said. There would be nobody sitting in this chair right now, or maybe there'd be a different person.”

Kyle is pansexual and, speaking to Nicky Byrne and Jenny Greene on 2FM on Tuesday, he revealed that pansexual is "not the same as bisexual".  He said he is attracted to people based on their personality "regardless of their gender or sexual orientation".

As for his reasons for applying for First Dates, he said, "You don't know how long you have left to live.  Nobody does, but more so me because I've gone through the whole thing.  I came close to dying probably about three times between clots and not getting checked in time.

"I came close so I kind of went, go and find someone. [It's] better than doing it online.  People see the cancer stuff and go, oh, and take a step back.  'You're only 20 so will I have to look after you in my 20s rather than going out and stuff?'."

Kyle's date is Laylah Beattie (19) who is transgender.

“I definitely have more challenges than probably your average person. People on the street staring and shouting," she tells viewers.  "There’s a lot of people who, I think, hate me and it’s very weird to have someone hate you for no reason.”

Asked what would be the one thing she would change about her life if she could, she replies: “I’d change society. I know a lot of people would expect me to say that I’d change the fact that I was born male but I think the problem doesn’t start with you as an individual, I think everyone has the right to be who they are but I would change the way people look at me.”

Laylah told Jenny and Nicky that she has been "dating for a while" and gets "a lot of confusion" and has had "a lot of bad experiences".  The fact that the First Dates date is public appealed to her.

"[Being transgender] definitely makes dating more complicated so I thought if people could see me being normal on a date that might help," she said.

Viewers will find out how Kyle and Laylah got on romantically on tonight's First Dates Ireland, RTÉ2, Tuesday, February 12th at 9.30pm.

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