For those who know me well, you will know that I am terrible at asking for help. I am always too stubborn to admit when I do, even when I need it or want it. I finally am, and in a very public manner.
It has taken me 10 years to come to terms with the steps I need to take to finally be myself entirely, and this year I have been openly living as that person. I have reached the point where I need support to continue on with the next stage which is to medically transition, and to get chest surgery.
I have always been proud that I have supported myself entirely since leaving home at 17, and have always worked multiple jobs since I was 12. I was the first in my family to make it to university (as a mature student) and graduate. I also worked 2-3 jobs throughout. To be frank, right now financially I earn enough to pay my bills, rent and to pay roller derby fees, but not enough to save for a medical fund. My prospects of saving enough for chest surgery are at least another 5 - 10 years with my current wage. Which means I will be 30-35 by the time I look in the mirror and see my actual self.
This is a terrifying thought for me,
I have caused myself incredible pain and damage through wearing a chest binder for over 10 years. I also used to bind with bandages, tape and sometimes multiple sports bras at once. I slept in them, swam in them, exercised and even wore them at home. I struggle to breathe correctly, walk for 30 mins or more, walk up flights of stairs or run. It hurts after I have eaten, and I can't sleep well at night. For the past 4 months I have also been unable to play the sport that I have dedicated myself to for nearly 7 years, playing and coaching in the UK and China. I am a 34 D and those of you who see me, may be suprised to hear that considering how flat my chest is.
My dysphoria has always been so terrible that it was binding like the above, or giving up on this life. I physically could not leave my home. I have tried so many methods to ignore it, and sadly none have worked. The only reason I don't wear binders at home now, is because I am in too much pain to physically wear it for a full day.
Chest surgery costs around £5000 - £6000 and this is not including the consultations. I am not expecting to raise all of this money in the slightest, but have put up the amount that it costs. I hope that any amount raised will help cut down the potential time I will have to wait.
I have been working on a zine, patch/badges and a small EP for the past few months. My goal and hope is that once I have finished the above project, that I can post them to the friends and family who are able to support me, even in the smallest way.
I also have plans to begin sharing my experiences and the useful things I have learned over the years as a trans person, and to give back to younger generations who could be going through the same issues. I used to be far more active giving back to communities, either supporting the international roller derby scene, or helping transgender and LGB+ communities in China and in the UK. I have reached the point where I have no emotional energy left for myself, and I need to fix this to get back up and start giving back.
If you are unable to help me with donations, I fully understand. Coming round for a cup of tea and a chat is always welcome, and personal experiences and advice is too.
Thank you (and sloth hugs),
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