A huge thank you to everyone who donated to my testosterone fund. Thanks to your generosity I was able to attend assessments in which I was approved to start testosterone and it was been confirmed that I fit the medical definition of gender dysphoria. I started testosterone in August 2018 and have experienced a great difference in my quality of life subsequently. The next step, and the only other step I will seek to have under private care, is to get top surgery, a surgical procedure where a masculine chest is created and breast tissue is removed.
Before coming out I suffered from a very severe eating disorder since the start of puberty - the time at which secondary sex characteristics including breast development onset. The illness went on for around nine years and resulted in me being hospitalised multiple times. One of the things which fuelled my sickness was that when I would lose significant amounts of weight my chest would shrink and I would find that the dysphoria would decrease in accordance. Having since had a years worth of therapy with a focus on my gender dysphoria I have been able to recover and move past using this as a way of coping. Essentially, I now know that I can access the surgical procedure of top surgery which has helped people like me to live happier lives. This therefore means that this specific aspect of dysphoria is going to be temporary and that a future living as the gender with which I identify is attainable.
Since my recovery I have been binding my chest in order to cope with the dysphoria that it gives me day to day. Whilst this has been huge in boosting my confidence and made a significant difference in managing dysphoria it comes with very real risks. For a while I faced fluid build ups in my lungs and I have sustained a significant back injury which binding has contributed to. It makes breathing more difficult and during the summer can result in heat rashes. In cases where people have to bind over many years they can eventually fracture ribs and do more serious damage. I am so desperate to avoid complications from binding but also find it utterly impossible to leave the house without it most of the time. The reality of living in a society that does not recognise or accept trans bodies means that often whilst I am out in public I see people staring at my chest for extended periods of time, trying to work out if I have breasts or not and thus decide how to gender me. I feel unable to go to a swimming pool, in part because of my own dysphoria but also because of the way my body will inevitably be judged and scrutinised. Using changing rooms and bathrooms also become minefields.
Waiting for five years to get this surgery on the NHS just doesn't feel realistic having already suffered so much with it. Not to mention that over the next year I will begin to experience the effects of testosterone and being in public looking like a man with breasts is likely to increase the harassment I already deal with and risks to my safety. I am looking to go privately so that I can hopefully reduce that wait down to around one year.
Top surgery costs a lot of money and I do not have the funds to pay for it right now. I am halfway through my undergraduate degree and whilst I am looking into every measure I can possibly take in my life in order to save and raise that money, the reality is I cannot in my current circumstances raise it myself.
Any help you can possibly provide will be very much appreciated. This surgery will be utterly life changing and life giving for me.
Many thanks and all my love,
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