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“We even went through a stage of giving me dodgy haircuts.
Because I hadn’t got to experience the dodgy years of boy haircuts like most teenage boys do my friends decided to give them all to me in the space of six months.
"I got the V, I decided it blonde, I had highlights, I had the Justin Bieber fringe all so that we could say that I had this fake teenage boyhood,” Andrew laughed.
One of the biggest challenges for the LGBT community is gaining acceptance from their families.
“I thought that there was something wrong with me, I thought that I was just weird.
I was just different and I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t belong with the girls or boys but I started to express myself in a masculine way through my clothes and behaviour."In Andrew’s first year in secondary school, he was outed as a “gay woman” by his peers.
“In my first year in secondary school it became very obvious to other people that I didn’t belong and I was outed as a gay woman.
“It was hard to make friends but I was comfortable making friends outside of a school setting.
I had some friends that were great during my transition.”Andrew recalls that when he first came out as transgender, he put on a very masculine façade in attempts to fit in.
“I did anything that was stereotypically male and I wouldn’t have been that kind of person who is really engaged in sport and drinking pints but the way for me to gain people’s acceptance was for me to fit into a mould of what society deemed to be a man.” “My friends took my transition lightly, it was what it was and I was still the person that they were going to make fun of like anyone else in our group of friends which I really appreciated.
The LGBT Rights Officer for Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) Students’ Union said he thought there was "something wrong with him" as a young teenager.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Andrew said he couldn't figure out if he "belonged" with the girls or boys in his class.
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He said he always felt like a boy but that society “perceived him as a girl for a long time”.