A father whose son transitioned after leaving school says teaching gender identity in school would have helped him understand himself much earlier.
Jimmy was speaking on the back of a new Newstalk survey, which found parents are divided over whether gender identity should be taught in school.
The survey finds 40% of parents think it should be taught in school, with 42% saying it should not be.
Jimmy told Lunchtime Live he strongly believes the topic should be taught.
"I had a daughter myself who went through a whole heap of depression - not knowing whether it was coming or going; didn't know what was wrong," he said.
"We didn't know as parents what was wrong.
"He eventually went off to Waterford to start zoo college, and you could see he just wasn't happy.
"He was going to the doctor, he was on depression tablets and all this."
'Daddy, I don't feel right'
Jimmy said things changed after his child moved to Finland for a few years.
"He came home about two years ago and he says to me, 'Daddy, I don't feel right, I don't feel I should be a girl.'
"I was chatting to him and the whole lot and then, when he came back about six months after, he was telling me he had to go and have an operation to have his breasts off.
"I was shocked obviously as a parent, there's no point saying I wasn't.
"It took me a while to get my head around it to be honest with you."
Teaching in schools
Jimmy said he believes teaching in the classroom will not change who people grow up to be.
"Kids are kids, kids will accept [you] no matter what you are in school," he said.
"I think the younger generation coming up now will be a lot more accepting of transgender than our generation would have been."
Jimmy believes that, if gender identity had been taught in school, his son would have been "able to sort out his mind".
"He probably would have been able to talk to his parents a lot better as well, with the information he probably would have been getting," he said.
"Kids are kids and what they grow up to be is what they grow up to be.
"By discussing it in the classroom it shouldn't change their way of thinking."
'I still grieve for her'
Jimmy said his son, who is an artist, is now '10-times happier in himself'.
"He went in, had the operation, the whole lot," he said.
"Since he has done all this and came out, he's excelled. He's after winning more things for his art and whole competitions.
"He's actually gone to America there for three months showing all his art. He's 10-times happier in himself.
"Don't get me wrong, I still miss the daughter that grew up with me, I still grieve for her [but] I still have to respect his life and the way it is - that's the way he's happy.
"He's only one life and that's just it, he has to move on.
"He just seems to be a completely different person, seems to be an awful lot happier in himself.
"I've never been so proud of him; it took courage to do that," he added.
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