I’m Mia, a British trans woman. You might know me from Twitter where I’m @OhMiaGod , or as the author of Yes, You Are Trans Enough (the new-ish book, and the Huffington Post article from 2016).
I use my platform to write about trans issues and self-love, with the aim of helping those who might need a little nudge of support, and just generally raising awareness.
Unfortunately, I also suffer from regular spikes of intense gender dysphoria, a deep sense of “wrongness” about my body, which causes bouts of devastating anxiety and overwhelming self-loathing. On those days it takes all my energy just to keep myself together, it’s like my entire sense of self collapses. I’ve even had to take time off of work before, and lost plenty of evenings to endless tears.
The thing I want more than anything else in the world is to be free of those dysphoria attacks. Sometimes I have a couple of days without one, sometimes even weeks. On those good days I’m happy with my life, I can keep those other feelings at bay. But my dysphoria always comes back, and it’s always triggered by the same features.
After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to try raise money for three types of facial surgery, which are all specifically aimed at changing the parts of my face which trigger my dysphoria. If raising the money is successful, I’ll be able to live a considerably more peaceful and safer life.
The first surgery is a priority and can happen immediately, the remaining two are consecutive and require 12-18 months preparation, making them a longer term goal (but just as personally important).
For now, the current goal of £19000 is just for the first surgery. If that goal is reached and it becomes realistic to raise money for the other two, it’ll be increased for the next milestone, but for now I’m just focused on trying to afford the first one. Which even alone would make my life considerably easier.
Any money raised goes right into a separate bank account which only exists for these surgery costs.
As I support both myself and my disabled partner on my pretty slim pay, I always assumed I would never be able to have any of these procedures, despite how dramatically they would improve my life. Crowdfunding is my only shot at having them.
I can’t even properly put into words what it would mean to me if even one of these surgeries became a reality. It would be life changing.
After a year of wrestling with the guilt over whether it’s okay to ask, I’m giving it my best shot.
What’s gender dysphoria like?
Dysphoria is different and personal for all trans people who experience it, but mine is focused entirely on my face.
It’s also hell.
I’ve worked really hard over the last few years to turn myself into an optimistic and happier person, because my natural state of mind is very self-destructive and negative. But that hasn’t changed how hard my dysphoria hits, and when I’m dysphoric it becomes almost impossible to keep myself afloat.
My dysphoria is always there to some degree, every day, but when I’m hit with the intense spikes of it my perceptions and thoughts become warped and I’m overcome with overwhelming self-hate.
The motivation behind this crowdfund is to raise enough to do the best thing that could possibly be done to reduce my dysphoria, and therefore make my life astoundingly easier.
I want to stress that these procedures are about reducing dysphoria through subtle but powerful changes, it’s not about making me look like a brand new person. I’ve learnt to accept and embrace who I am, and I know that trans is beautiful. But trying to live while my dysphoria returns so frequently is exhausting.
Why three surgeries?
One of the trigger areas for me is my jaw, due to its size and shape. But my jaw is also misaligned and has an underbite. I do my best to hide it in photos (it’s why I always smile the same way) as it causes a lot of daily distress and feeds my dysphoria.
Anything done to alter my jaw’s size/shape to specifically reduce dysphoria, requires orthognathic surgery to have taken place first. Otherwise re-aligning my jaw later would (ironically) leave the jaw contouring surgery result misaligned. But the orthognathic surgery will require a lot of time and preparation (including braces).
However, the other dysphoric elements of my face are my forehead and nose, which can be both changed right now in a single procedure, which is why that one is the first goal.
How did you come up with this plan?
After a lot of research I attended a consultation with my chosen surgeon, I discussed what I wanted and what I didn’t want. Together we came up with a plan that will change the three areas of my face which trigger my dysphoria, and without doing anything unnecessary (I’m only interested in changing those trigger areas, I’m at peace with the rest of my body).
Is there another way to donate?
Yes! If anyone is uncomfortable using this site, you can donate directly into my PayPal at: PayPal.Me/MiaViolet