| 15.2°C Dublin

At times I felt I was born in the wrong body, but I never wanted to change it

I heard someone recently say, "he just needs to man up".

It got me thinking. Does that mean he needs to be tough or brave?

Does it mean that he shouldn't show any emotions or get upset? No whimpering, no softness, no vulnerability?

Why don't we ever hear, "she just needs to woman up"? What would that actually be?

I don't know - it's a strange one. But I think that phrase doesn't exist because it's easier for women to have both hard and soft traits.

When I read about Frank Maloney, the boxing promoter, wanting to live as a woman, I thought two things. Firstly, how very brave.

And then I thought - what does it mean to be a woman, why does Frank want to "woman up"?

inside

I know people who go through transgender transformations feel they were born in the wrong body. Frank Maloney has said that himself - what is on the outside doesn't match what is in the inside.

At times I've felt I was born in the wrong body. My boobs developed too big too young and brought unwanted attention. But it was never too unbearable that I wanted to change them, or my body.

When I was first attracted to women, I didn't really know what being gay was and wondered if I should have been born a boy. But with time and support I knew that it was ok to be attracted to women.

Frank Maloney has hated being a man. After two marriages and turning 61, he now wants to be a woman, Kellie.

I don't fully comprehend this transformation, it must be one of the most complex conundrums for a human being to face. But I know that people who make this decision find peace with themselves.

Here's hoping Kellie has many happy years ahead as a woman.


Privacy