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Help me get this off my chest: top surgery fund

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1. Why am I raising money?


I’m raising £10,000 to pay for top surgery. Top surgery, or a double mastectomy, is a procedure which removes a person’s breast tissue and masculinises the chest. Many trans men/trans masculine/non-binary people may undergo this surgery if they experience dysphoria (a state of feeling uneasy or unhappy) around their chest and want to align their outward appearance with their internal sense of self. You don’t have to be trans or experience gender dysphoria to access this surgery, either! I am trans, and I have experienced chest dysphoria, along with other forms of physical/emotional dysphoria and dysmorphia since puberty. I’m raising money for this procedure so that I can take further steps towards feeling at ease within my body.


2. But doesn’t the NHS provide free surgeries for trans people?


Technically, they do! But I’m going private and outside the UK for this. To access gender affirming surgeries through the NHS you first have to be referred to the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) by your GP. Unfortunately, many trans people have experienced transphobia from their GPs. The doctor might not believe them, ask invasive questions, refer them to a psychiatrist for an evaluation (which stems from this assumption that being trans is linked to mental ill health). Once you’re on the GIC waiting list (as I am) you can expect to wait about five years to be seen for an assessment. Then, after many other appointments (and if you tick all the boxes) you’ll be granted access to gender affirming care. On average, people wait about 10 years to access gender affirming surgeries through the NHS. Read this article which offers a simple breakdown of the difficulties trans people in the UK face when trying to access gender affirming care via the NHS. Full disclosure, I’m pushing 30. The thought of having to wait ten years to access top surgery at the age of 40 makes me feel physically sick. Also, the older one gets, the more complications can arise from surgeries.


3. Ok, that does suck… but why do you need to go outside the UK? Can’t you just crowdfund for a private surgeon here?


That would be ideal, especially since I live in London where the London Transgender Clinic is based. They’ve got some pretty famous surgeons who are well renowned for their practice. If I stayed here, I wouldn’t have to pay for accommodation or travel. But for me, the starting price to get top surgery done privately by a reputable surgeon is £12,500. That’s £2,500 more than what I’m trying to raise. My chest is well endowed (you’re welcome) so I need a more expensive form of surgery to remove them. Looking at surgeons in Austria who I trust as they’ve performed surgery on other trans and non-binary friends, I’m looking at a starting price of 7,000 euros. Realistically, I’d be paying 8,000 euros. That is not bad.


4. Not bad at all. So what’s the rest of the money for?


We’re looking at travel costs. I could get to Austria and back for £150-200. Then, I would need accommodation for at least two weeks. I wouldn’t be able to stay in a hotel as I would need access to a kitchen to feed myself regularly, and I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as much as I’d like. For two weeks, I would be looking at £1,000. Which leaves a couple of hundred pounds for things like food and making sure the person who is caring for me is alright.

Look, I could save a couple thou by going to a super cheap country, but do I want to risk my life doing that? Trans people deserve decent care, everyone does. I don’t want to cut corners when it comes to changing my life and taking the steps to become the person I have always felt on the inside.

Being trans is great and I love it, you only have to read a few articles to see that gender affirming care is life saving and makes people truly happy.


5. Personal sob story:

Ehhh. Maybe not just yet.


6. I’d love to help, what do you need?


Any donation would go a long way. If you can share this within your networks/circles/to your mum who doesn't get pronouns but is trying her best, I would appreciate that so much. If 100 people donated £100 I would reach my goal! I don’t think I know 100 people who have £100 to donate but just thinking about it in those terms makes the goal so much more attainable. Also, I want to give something back to people who donate certain amounts. I'll update this page and social media with artworks I'll be making and sending you.

Love and rage,
S x
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S S
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England

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