Tonight will see the first transgender dater to feature on Ireland’s First Dates, writes Michelle McGlynn.
Laylah, a model and blogger from Co Wexford, is looking for love on this week’s Valentine’s episode of the series.
Her date for the evening is 19-year-old Cork man Kyle who is pansexual.
Someone who identifies as pansexual can be sexually and/or emotionally attracted to someone regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Laylah began the transition process two years ago and officially changed her name last September. At the time of filming, she was still known as David.
The 20-year-old has previously appeared on the Late Late Show, the Ray D’arcy Show and Vogue Williams – On the Edge where she has spoken about her experiences.
Speaking on the Late Late Show, she explained, “I think in my head I always knew that I was transgender but I had accepted that I was going to live my life as a gay male and that was going to be my road.
“I would be unhappy but that is what I was going to do.
“It was kind of when I watched like Caitlyn Jenner and when transgender issues came into the media so heavily at one point and once I researched it and saw you could have a good life and…your family don’t abandon you and you can live a true life to yourself, I felt very comfortable doing that.
“I was just about to turn 18 when I decided, just about to leave for college.”
Just a few months later, Laylah returned to the Late Late Show to speak alongside guest, Caitlyn Jenner.
During their date, Kyle reveals that he has gone through his own life changing experience having overcome cancer.
Kyle was diagnosed with testicular cancer the week of his 17th birthday and underwent surgery the day before he turned 17.
“I was diagnosed – at the start – with testicular cancer and then we found out that it had spread to my abdomen and lungs,” Kyle explained.
After going through treatment and coming out the other side, Kyle has a positive outlook on his life.
“It’s made me realise how near you can be to…everything gone so I’m just trying to live life properly, do anything and everything.”
Kyle tells Laylah that had his cancer been discovered three months later then his prognosis would likely have been terminal.
To see if it’s a perfect match for Laylah and Kyle tune in to First Dates on RTÉ 2 tonight at 9.30pm.