I'm Jen. I'm also transgender. If you know anyone with gender dysphoria, then you know what it can be like. Being in the closet took me to the darkest places and for a long time I felt I couldn't come out. Beginning my transition changed my life and it's clear that being my true self was the right decision. It hasn't been easy. A lot of the challenges are helped just by having good people in my life. Friends make a HUGE difference. But we all have our own issues and some of mine meant I wanted to join a gender clinic and get some extra help beyond acceptance from friends.
At first I threw money at private clinics because I just needed help asap. Jeez that was expensive. Now I'm very grateful to get help from the NHS in some areas (hormone patches especially!) but they can't help with some of the things that mean the most to me. Everyone's gender dysphoria is different and not everyone needs the same help or has the same goals. For example, some trans people don't need any surgery at all. Some don't need hormone therapy. All I know is my life is much worse because of my gender dysphoria and fixing the worst of it involves surgery.
Transitioning has started to help with depression, panic attacks, concentration etc. As you can see, gender dysphoria really does get in the way of my life! It still does but I can truthfully say things have improved bit by bit with the more I can tackle. Facial feminisation surgery is the one that means the most to me. Sadly it's also the most expensive and is the one the NHS won't help at all with. There's a lot to it but I'm not going to go into the exact details of what I hate about myself because I'm sad just thinking about it.
It's easy to think of it as "cosmetic". People picture stereotypes of vain celebrities getting plastic surgery to look younger. However, getting FFS would allow me to alleviate the worst of my gender dysphoria. Right now I avoid so many things and dysphoria gets in the way of living a fulfilling life. It probably sounds vain to care this much about physical appearance but I do believe it's objectively different when it's about gender dysphoria and mental health. I don't see it as cosmetic; I see it as a necessary part of my transitioning if I want to be happy and healthy.
I've realised this is the only way I'm going to come close to making my dream come true. I can explain why I need help and how much these things cost, but what I can't adequately explain is how much a little help will mean to me. It feels hollow to just say "it means so much to me". It's beyond that. I need some help just to be myself and alive. I don't expect this gofundme to pay for everything. I've set it at £5000 but we're talking £20,000+. I'm saving as hard as I can and selling most possessions except those that really help my dysphoria, because it's what I have to do. But if any of you feel like helping a little, that would be amazing.
The main reason I've taken to gofundme is because now and then people give me little donations through PayPal or Ko-Fi etc. Just... "hey Jen I really liked this thing you did so here's £5" and it means so much. But it's never clear what I'll use the money for. It was never really crowdfunding; it was just people giving me a bit of cash now and then because they liked something I was involved in. I think it would be good to show people what I'm using donations for and have one link I can promote and share instead of several donations services. It's no exaggeration that enough small donations could literally change my life, so you have no idea what they mean to me. Seriously. I'd be forever grateful.. I'll be able to be myself, and that means more to me than anything.
If you have questions then let me know. I'm also happy to provide updates here so people know how things are going :) Thank you for reading! Jx
P.S. Last time I tried to create this page, it was hijacked by a BBC journalist hoping to ambush me for an anti-trans documentary. If you are a creepy BBC reporter or similar, scouring gofundme for trans people to ambush, please be aware I know all about how that works so don't bother.