Dublin’s Crossdressing community is getting the spotlight in a bid to protect them from the stigma and discrimination that often accompany the identity crisis.
It has been a year since Ireland’s first transgender model, Niamh Mac Diarmuid, began modelling in the UK and the transgender community is still struggling with the consequences of being labelled a “faggot”.
The first Irish model to appear in the US was Caitlyn Jenner, who was awarded the 2015 Golden Globe award for best transgender model.
But while the public is still debating whether transgender people should be allowed to enter the country, the Irish transgender community faces a much darker scenario.
“There are so many misconceptions about the trans community, it is something that I have struggled with,” said Caitlyn, who is a 23-year-old model and actor in the Irish film industry.
“I am always surprised by how people will categorise people into one or the other.
I think people have a tendency to judge people based on their appearance and how they act.”
It is so difficult for trans people to get a job because it is seen as a mark of the other person’s masculinity, or as a way of identifying who they are.
“Caitlyn, a first generation transgender model and actress, is a transgender model for the film industry and the first transgender actress to receive an Oscar nomination.
In her latest film, The Irish Dream, which opens at the Irish Film Festival on March 17, Caitlyn is joined by actor and director Peter O’Toole, a gay Irish man.”
The Irish Dream is a film about the Irish community and the stories of its people and it is a reflection of the journey of our people as well as the film’s portrayal of how the world can be made better for everyone,” Caitlyn said.”
We have been very fortunate to be part of this film and the story it tells about the struggle to come out as trans in Ireland and the struggles trans people face in the entertainment industry.
“While many transgender people struggle with being labelled as a “fetishistic” and “masculine” transgender, Caitlin said she is not the only transgender person who has faced these consequences.”
This is a society that wants us to conform to the way society has been constructed and the way the mainstream media is, that it is OK to be who you are.
“But to be a trans person and have this kind of discrimination or judgement towards who you really are, it hurts,” she said.
As part of her campaign to raise awareness about the issue of transphobia, Caitlynn recently posted a video to Instagram of a trans model with a cross on her chest, with the caption: “I am a crossdresser.
I have been to the crossdressers party and am so excited to be in the crossdresses room.”
It is a message that Caitlyn says is needed in Ireland.
“Crossdressing is something I do because it allows me to be myself,” she added.
“My experience has been that being in a dress has helped me feel more comfortable and in control of myself and that it has been really liberating to me.”
A lot of people who identify as trans, they will never have that experience.
“They will be in a very male space where they are treated as if they are a woman.
It is something which is very much missing in the transgender world.”
For the first time in her life, CaitLyn has been able to enter a dressing room in a fashion show.
“As an actor, I can’t get out of bed and walk around the block without someone stopping me and saying, ‘Do you have a costume on?’, and I am in a dressing area with no one to tell me what I am supposed to do,” she laughed.
“So, I’m in a big dressing room and I can be myself in the dressing room, which is great because I am able to be open and comfortable.”
Catherine was born Caitlyn McAlinden in Co Wicklow, Co Kildare, in 1993, but began transitioning as a teenager.
“At the time, I was living in Ireland but it was difficult living in Dublin,” she recalled.
“Even in a country like Ireland, where we have a strong sense of gender equality, you can’t be gay and trans at the same time.”
Cats and dogs are also part of Caitlyn’s life, with cats and dogs playing a big part in the daily life.
“Cats are my favourite because I like them because they are really cute and they are always there for me, I love them,” she explained.
“Because of this, I have had cats since I was a child.
I had two cats who were born in my apartment and I have a little dog who I adopted when I was 18 years old.”
All of my dogs are all born male.
I love being able to have them in my home because I love their company and their love for me