Be Myself: Gender Confirmation Surgery

Introduction

Hello and thank you for your interest in my fundraising! I am not quite comfortable with taking money from strangers but still I am asking for it because of my circumstances. To understand my situation a bit more I would like to introduce myself. I will try to keep it short but there is so much to tell you and I feel obligated to tell you my story in reward for your donation (or consideration to donate). After a short version of my ‘memoires’ I will explain wherefore I want to use the money. Thereby I want to go as much into detail as I can to be as transparent as possible. I will leave my contact information at the end so you can contact me and ask me questions or give feedback if you want. So here we go...

My Story

When I was young I only played with female friends, wanted to have my room in pink, and I was only interested in doing ‘girls-stuff’ such as playing with dolls and playing dress-up. Around the age of 4 or 5, however, I found out I wasn’t a girl. I remember this well: it was on the backseat of my mom’s car, and my mom was laughing at me when I cried – which, when I think about it, still hurts today.

Nevertheless, when I was in primary school my brother was severely bullied. It damaged him a lot (e.g. he had no friends – was lonely, and came home crying from school every day), and I didn’t want that to happen to me as well. So I could not deviate from what was to be considered as ‘normal’. This meant that I needed to act and behave as a (tough) boy in order to be accepted and not to be bullied. I was too scared for the latter, because I have seen what it did to my brother.

Besides, my parents were too busy taking care of my brother at that time, and didn’t see my hidden issue – there wasn’t any support. So I had to deal with it myself. Luckily, when my brother went to high school the bullying stopped and everything turned around for him. However, my parents still couldn’t support me as of this moment because they were mostly busy with themselves (arguing every day) – from this time on the situation at home became horrible. Explaining why my brother and me were always away from home. He ended up drinking in the bar and I was mostly smoking weed with my friends to forget the troubles I had.

Eventually this led to the divorce of my parents when I was 15-16 years old. Furthermore, without going into too much details, I became depressed from my 14th till 19th. There were multiple causes for this. First there was the difficult situation at home and the divorce. Secondly, my girlfriend became pregnant when I was 14 years old – which was unwanted. Thirdly, my mother not only abused me emotionally (one example: she, multiple times, showed me the bruises which were caused by my father when they had a fight), but – in my opinion – betrayed me as well (e.g. she cheated on my father when she took me on a vacation trip, and she accused me  wrongfully for threatening her at the police). And lastly – obviously – looking backwards, there was the continuously frustration that I couldn’t be myself.

Nevertheless, when my parents divorced, I stayed with my father. Although things were getting a bit more calm, we couldn’t get along very well because we needed to have some rest from all the hectic years that passed. So it didn’t took long before I left the house and started to live on my own. From this time, I slowly started to feel better again. And finally, when the depression was over, I started to think a little bit about myself again. In doing so, I started caring about my future and started with law school, and I learned the ‘phenomenon’ of transgenders. Although it still was confusing – since I prefer women over men – for the first time it made some kind of sense how I felt. In other words: things started to fall into place. However, I didn’t do anything with it yet. I still was scared that people wouldn’t except me and that I would be bullied. I couldn’t put myself above others.

It wasn’t until 2014, when I was 24 years old, that I had the courage to came out for it. It was with my girlfriend at the time. She was, after several short flings, my first real love. I felt at ease with her, and most importantly trusted her that I could be myself with her. In consultation with her I applied at the VUMC Polikliniek Genderdysforie (the hospital in the Netherlands if you want to start your transition). After a waiting time of about one and a half year, I had my first appointment in 2016. However, in the meantime my girlfriend was in a car accident, ended up in a coma, and eventually my first real love died – which again, without turning into details, caused a lot of damage.

Nevertheless, by the time I had my first appointment I was alone again, my world was crashing in on me, and I didn’t had the courage to put forward what I was craving for. She was the only person that really knew me and I still was scared for what people would think of me (luckily, that isn’t a problem anymore). So I did the most stupid thing ever, put my feelings away again and closed the metaphorical door - times were already hard enough without my transgender feelings. As you may understand, it took me some years to process what had happened. I had a lot of support from the mother of my girlfriend which I am so grateful for – thanks to her I have experienced what it is like to experience ‘mother’s love’. Sadly, she hang herself in 2017 when her husband died as well.

Anyway, after a couple of years I tried to pick up my life again. Finished my bachelor of law and started my master study – where I completely put my focus on. In doing so, I continuously ignored how I really felt. In the beginning of 2019, however, I finished my master, I met my current girlfriend and everything changed. I began to trust her and learned that I could be myself with her. And because I wanted to be completely honest and open to her, I told her about my transgender feelings – luckily, she accepts me for who I really am. And with her support I applied at the hospital again where I will start my transition in the near future. However, in doing so, I opened the door that I closed several years back. Which I learned, that I cannot close it anymore. It is finally time to choose for myself and become what I really am: a woman. I want to and need to be myself. Not only from the inside but from the outside as well. I want to look in the mirror and see what I am feeling inside of me. Furthermore, I want others to recognize me as a woman. And for this, although I find it very difficult to do so, I am asking your help. I would sincerely appreciate a small contribution – it means the world to me. 

My Goal

The main priority I have considering the gender confirmation surgeries is a vocal surgery in order to raise the pitch of my voice (I naturally have a very deep voice). Having a voice that reflects who I am is incredibly important for me, since it is the first impression you give to people – especially on the phone. Other people will determine your gender based on your voice. In other words, it is believed that an individual’s voice characteristic is a key contributor to the listener’s perception to guess the speaker’s gender. And with my deep voice, speech therapy would not be sufficient at all. In general, many patients are misgendered by their voice in many circumstances. Having a misgendered voice places a person at risk, as it could negatively affect their social and vocational life including their psychosocial state of mind. I really don’t want this to happen to me. For this reason, a vocal surgery is my main priority. And I would love to do this at the Yeson Voice Center in South Korea. This is the destination for a non-invasive feminization procedure (thus no cut mark on the throat). Covering all expenses (ticket, surgery and recovery), it will cost around 10.000 euro. If you want to check out more information about the vocal surgery at the Yeson Voice Center check out this link here .

Other desired gender confirmation surgeries I want to take are a sex reassignment surgery which involves reshaping the male genitals into a form with the appearance of, and, as far as possible, the function of female genitalia. Ideally I want to do this at the Piyavate Hospital in Bangkok, since they have the know-how and experience. Which is incredibly important, since I want to have the result to be as realistic as possible. All expenses for this surgery will be around 7/8.000 euro. And finally, if needed, I would like to have a breast enhancement surgery if the hormones aren’t sufficient (estimated on 3000 euro – in the Netherlands). Thus, only for the surgeries I need around 20.000 euro – which I cannot afford myself without any help. 

Next to the surgeries there are other expenses as well. Think about the costs of a therapist and psychiatrist, the costs of hormones, health insurance coverage for gender transition, the costs of permanent hair removal (epilating is not an option since my skin cannot handle it, in other words when I epilate my skin gets totally inflamed ), the costs of clothes (I don’t have any yet – need to buy a whole new wardrobe), and for bridging periods for the surgeries. Which I estimate around 10.000 euro. 

Although I am mostly still in the ‘closet’ (only my father and girlfriend are aware) I want to be as transparent as possible. Thus, I want to keep you updated on the developments and keep you informed how things are going. Besides, if you have a question, need more clarification or have some other remark you can always contact me on the following email address: mara.non1000@gmail.com. Besides, although I am quite shy in placing photos (privacy and a ‘closet’ thing), I intend to keep you posted on the progress – and when I am getting more female, I will update this page with more photos.

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Organizer 

Mara Non 
Organizer
Arnhem, NL
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