THE BLOG
16/02/2018 16:14 GMT | Updated 16/02/2018 16:22 GMT

The Opportunity To Share My Story Of Transition On 'First Dates Hotel' Outweighed Any Nerves

Channel 4

Hey, I’m Nick, I’m 25 years old and recently I shared my story of transition on First Dates Hotel on Channel 4. The overwhelming reaction by viewers who either related to my story or shared supportive, loving and encouraging remarks on social media was extremely moving and I’m excited for the opportunity to share more of my story here with you.

I’m a BA (Hons) Music Student from Glasgow but also work part time in a bingo hall to earn my keep. I was born in Glasgow and have grown up there all my life. Up until the age of 16 I had no idea that I was transgender, I originally just thought that I was a “Tomboy” as people call it, but after doing some research I eventually concluded that I had gender dysphoria.

The biggest challenges throughout my coming out period as a teenager were mainly telling the rest of my family and my friends, which was terrifying because I feared not being accepted. I originally told my older sister Stacey (33) first, because for some reason out of all my family I knew she would be the one that would be the most accepting. I then told my mum, which was a bit of a “hit and run” moment. I had a taxi waiting outside for me to take me to the youth group that I was part of at the time and I stood at the door and said, “Mum, I don’t want to be female anymore” and her exact words were “Is it my fault? Is it the way I brought you up?” and I said “No, it’s the way I was born, I’ll talk to you more later about it” and then ran out the door. After speaking to her more about it later, she understood a little more, but it took her a while to come to terms with it. My dad on the other hand, I told him while I was sitting at the dining room table and his exact words were, “I was just waiting on you telling me.” My parents, my sister and my aunt were my main support network and they constantly encouraged me and told me that they were proud of me and helped me recover after all my surgeries by helping me change my dressings and giving me my medication when needed. They have been so supportive ever since and I don’t know what I would have done without them.

As a now young adult, I’m very passionate about the LGBTQ+ community and I feel that a lot more people need to be educated on the transgender side of things. Everyone seems to know about the LG and B side of the community and seem to just push aside the T and Q+ side of the community. There is so much more to the community, so it would be great if more and more people knew more about the other sides. Music has always been a huge part of my life and being a transgender musician isn’t something you see in the media very often, but being a musician has allowed me to meet so many accepting people who have also helped me in my transition. I feel this is essential; to remember no matter your community, allow yourself to meet people that are going to accept you for you. When it comes to helping or giving advice to other transgender people out there, I would have to say, don’t be scared to be who you truly are. Yes, there are going to be people around you that don’t agree with it, but there are a lot more people out there that are willing and want to help you. There is always someone who cares.

I won’t lie - when I applied for First Dates Hotel it was genuinely because I wanted to see if they would pick me for a laugh while I was sitting with my friends, but realised very quickly once working with their team from the casting phase onwards that they genuinely cared about trying to find me my perfect match and were committed to representing my story with great sincerity. So, when it was time for me to tell my story in front of a camera, it seemed to just flow out, it was as if the camera wasn’t even there - I just had to make sure that the viewers learned a little more about what being transgender means. I remember when it came time to watch the episode with my family and friends that it was a little nerve-racking but after seeing all of their reactions, I felt so good about myself.  All in all, going on the show and sharing my story with everyone was an experience that I am glad I got to have. It has given me an invaluable confidence boost and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.  I hope that other transgender people out there get at least a little bit of inspiration from me and feel more comfortable in themselves to be who they truly are and not how the world sees them.

You can watch Nick in First Dates Hotel – Series 2 Episode 5 now on All 4. If you’re interested in taking part in First Dates yourself, please visit: https://www.firstdatescasting.co.uk/.