My Transgender Surgery Appeal

Hi there, my name is Nikki Hayden. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a psychology student, and amongst other things, a transgender woman. I want to feel whole, as a person - mentally and physically - and that brings me to GoFundMe.

Growing up I knew there was something different about me. In primary school the boys chased the girls around the playground hoping to kiss them, but never me. I wanted the boys to chase me, to kiss me and then it hit me: the other girls were born girls, I was born a boy. Puberty came early to me. It worsened the situation. I was unable to cope with the masculine changes to my body, and social acceptance by my peers became a constant struggle.

I felt I was never going to fit in, and withdraw into myself. I had very few friends in school and none outside of school. My evenings and weekends were spent alone, usually reading. Looking back it probably was not a bad thing as my neighbourhood could be pretty rough.

After leaving school I felt I could breathe. All I could think about was taking the necessary step to become whole, to become who I am as a person inside and out, to become the real me, the authentic me. Life is too short – I needed to be me.

Around 10 years old I refused to get my hair cut, wanting it to grow out. My gender dysphoria was extreme - an early photograph with my family has me raising my arms to my chest as if to shield myself. Looking at this picture upsets me to this day. I could not even be comfortable at home with my sister, brother and mother.

Once I started college I began experimenting with make-up and cosmetics and developed an androgynous style.

In 2009 life became unbearable to live as I was, and so at 19 years old I transitioned to live full time as a woman. At such a young age it was a big step - I knew there would be no turning back but I was confident in my decision. This would be the right step, the only step in achieving my sense of self and identity. I began to see my local Gender Identity Centre and at 21 years old began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Having been diagnosed with lung disease at the age of 3, it took far longer than normal to start the regime.

At first HRT was amazing, and was very happy with its feminising effects. These have now stagnated and I am frustrated with the lack of progress, especially with breast growth which has pretty much stopped. This has increased my gender dysphoria.

While the NHS considers HRT, psychotherapy and Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) as “core surgeries”, procedures such as facial feminisation (rhinoplasty and forehead recontour), breast augmentation and chondrolaryngoplasty (tracheal shaving), are not deemed as “core”, and are therefore not covered by the NHS.

The British Film Institute (BFI) academy commissioned a short documentary about trans people which I took part in. Its available to view at the top of this page.

And here is a video of me explaining surgeries and why I have decided to do it through GoFundMe:

I am currently enrolled at university as a full-time Psychology student with the goal of attaining a PhD in clinical psychology focusing on gender issues. I am unable to afford the surgeries I so desperately need and my family are not in a financial position to pay for them.The sad reality is that many transgender woman resort to pornography and prostitution to afford their surgeries. All my life I have been and continue to deal with my self-respect. I want do things that make me feel better about myself, not worse. My pursuit of a career and education play a big part in that, and do not want to go down the dark and dangerous path putting myself in both mental and physical danger.

I am calling upon those of you who can understand and empathise with what I am going through to help me truly be the person I am, so I can not only be happy and content, but also go on to become a professional where I can help others through this same life journey.

In total I am looking to raise £10,000/$15,000 to fund my surgeries, comprised of…

Surgery 1: Rhinoplasty (around £4000)

Surgery 2: chondrolaryngoplasty (around £2000)

Surgery 3: Breast augmentation (around £4000)

I will appreciate any donation however small, even if its a pound (£1)! 

I would also appreciate it if you could share this GoFundMe request with your friends/family/colleagues/peers via facebook, twitter, email, etc.

I appreciate any and all donations and shares of my GoFundMe request.

Nicky xx

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Nikki Hayden 
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
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