Open letter to RTE regarding transphobia in “The Center”


Dear RTE,

As a person who was born and raised in Ireland, I’ve been watching your shows since I was a child. We all had to be really quiet when our parents put on the RTE news, when you told us what was happening in Ireland and internationally. You informed our world view and we really trusted in you. Things have changed a lot since then, I’m no longer a child and I had to go through something really difficult, something I didn’t want and my parents really didn’t want. I had to transition. We didn’t want this because we had been informed, not just by you, but by countless other forms of media that transwomen were ugly freaks. To us, a transwoman was like Frankenstein’s monster, hated by everyone no matter who she was inside.

I was amazed the first time I met other transwomen how wrong that view was, they weren’t freaks and most people didn’t treat them like freaks. Our generation of Irish people are all grown up and they don’t see things the way that you do, at least I assume that you see us that way because that’s the way you represent us in your show.

I want to convey how upsetting it is to see this, especially now that I’ve transitioned, living every day as just another woman.  But it’s really hard. You’d really have to live it to understand. You’d have to go to the female changing room for the first time absolutely terrified that you’d be thrown out but find yourself welcome, or avoid going to the bathroom because you are afraid of being shouted at or beaten up. You’d have to have someone question your gender, throw things at you on the street or have family tell you that you’re wrong about who you know you are.

You won’t ever get it, and I don’t expect you to, but I expected better than this. This is my worst nightmare. This is how I fear people will see and treat me. This is the inside of my panic attack. This is how my parents imagine my life, and why is that? Because of shows like this! You should have known better, and I know you wouldn’t dare make the same crap about LGB people.

Would you at least say sorry? You’ve done transwomen and the Irish people a great disservice, it’s the least that you could do.

Eva Lacy

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