AJ McKenna chats to Bella Edwards from First Dates about love, life and those transphobic comments by Daniel May.
How has your life changed since being on First Dates?
Since being on First Dates, I have actually met a man who I’m totally head over heels in love with. He balances out my wild side, but makes me feel so happy and secure as a person. I couldn’t wish for anything better in the love department. Other then that, I have moved full time to London and am enjoying the fetish and queer nightlife.
What do you think of your fellow contestant Daniel May’s recent comments about trans people?
I was shocked and horrified to see Daniel’s comments that ‘trans [women] will never be real women’. As a queer cis woman, I can only speak from what I have experienced when with trans friends.
Last year, I was walking through Camden high street with a friend who got called out and harassed in the streets. Initially she was angry at them but then it hit her harder.
What these transmisogynistic bullies do not understand is that because of what they said, and because this kind of attitude is still prominent today, I had to sit on my friend whilst waiting for the tube to come so she didn’t jump in front of the train. She was so done with it.
People need to understand that what they say could go some way towards ruining a life. When reading remarks such as ‘lopping off your cock, and wearing a dress, doesn’t make you a real woman’ – I just think it’s ignorant and disgusting. You’re talking about an actual person. Don’t be so cold.
It’s horrifying that in the 21st Century people are still coming out with such hurtful remarks, especially when they’re from inside the LGBT community themselves. You would have thought they’d know better.
These comments should not be taken lightly; they perpetuate a culture of bullying and stereotypes. This needs to stop. Even for shock value – it makes no difference why you’re saying it as it has the same repercussions.
Have you stayed in touch with any other former First Daters?
I still occasionally contact Coryn who was also on my episode, and hope to see her more in the future as we are very similar people, and I think she’s amazing.
What are you up to at the moment, and what can we expect from you in future?
I recently finished working as a stage and events manager in a London club, and am looking forward to doing more of this type of work in the future. As for television appearances go, you will have to watch this space!