AJ's Gender Affirming Fund

I’m AJ and I’m non-binary, and I’m the founder of BEAT FOR THE GXDS (IG: @beatforthegxds), a monthly makeup and creative space for Black non-binary people to thrive in. I’m also a student who is doing a Research Masters about gender, sex and U.S. politics.

Although I’m technically 23, I’m an old man at heart: I love a good bourbon, playing chess and I live in my dressing gown. This is just one of the ways in which my appearance doesn’t reflect how I feel on the inside.

Unfortunately at the moment my body gives me gender dysphoria, which is the distressing feeling when how you look doesn’t match who you are. My gender dysphoria stops me from leaving the house most days, and meeting both new people and old friends. It makes me feel like my life is currently stuck in limbo, I can’t move forwards, seek out new things, or do the things I love. I can’t enjoy being myself.

My chest is particularly prominent, which often means I’m misgendered in public. This has led to severe social anxiety and has made me feel very low, which has had a knock-on effect on my studies and other parts of my life. I’ve had problems with eating, because when I lose weight I also lose weight on my chest. It’s hard to have a healthy relationship with food and my body when no matter what I do, it never quite feels right.

Moving away from home as a result of my queerphobic parents has been a step in the right direction towards making decisions that will make me happier. After several years of battling with prioritising their feelings over my wellbeing which has taken a significant toll on my health, I am finally choosing myself. I’m allowed to want to be happy. I’m allowed to want to want to breathe. But I need your help to help me choose me.

Top surgery is the next step for me in this journey. The NHS waiting times are over 3 years long (sometimes way longer), so for my mental health and happiness I’m hoping that I can get it done sooner by going private. Unfortunately private healthcare is very expensive, which is where this GoFundMe comes in. I’m really hoping that it will enable me to begin to feel comfortable in my body.

I’ve included an updated breakdown of what it will cost for me to get top surgery and other gender affirming services:

- £250 for initial hormones consultation (PAID)
- £135 for referral letter to the gender clinic for hormones (PAID)
- £17 to change driving license (PAID)
- £300 for gender clinic hormones consultation and physical assessment (PAID)
- £84 for two lots of private prescriptions of testosterone gel (PAID)
(future prescriptions should be via the NHS)
- £400 for follow up hormones consultations
(each cost £100 and happen twice a year for 2 years)
- £135 for referral letter to the gender clinic for top surgery 
- £250 for initial top surgery consultation 
- £7636
 for top surgery procedure, pre-op care and post-op care
(this figure is based on the cost from the original private practice that I was going to go through pre-COVID. This figure is subject to change after my consultation with the new practice.)
- £75.50 + postage to change passport
- £100 for travel expenses

I would really appreciate any help that you could give towards my goal. If you read this far then thank you for taking the time. If you want to follow my progress I will be talking a bit more about my experiences on my Instagram: @non_binoiry

Thank you again!




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AJ Essien 
Midsomer Norton, South West England, United Kingdom

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