Hi i’m Jules and I am fundraising for chest reconstruction surgery. I work as public speaker and a coach specialising in mental health and wellbeing.
I have struggled with my body for my whole life suffering with eating disorders from an early age. I starved myself or purged as a way to reduce my chest size and curves. I was completely unaware at the time that this was a symptom of my dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria is when the body a person was born into doesn’t match their gender identity and as a result they experience extreme feelings discomfort throughout their lives.
I have fought hard to deal with complex mental health issues as a young person and have used these experiences to benefit the lives of others within my profession. Throughout my twenties I had multiple severe breakdowns despite maintaining constant therapeutic support. I began questioning if I was transgender four years ago, only to be told by a psychotherapist that I had internalised homophobia. I connected with the term non-binary, but I didn't fully come out, instead I swept this reality under the carpet believing it was easier to blend into the world than it was to be true to myself. By the age of 30 I felt disconnect and lost. My dysphoria became so bad that my mental health started to deteriorate. I was forced to stop working and as a freelancer had to live off my savings, which depleted in the five months I was out of work.
I am on a long waiting list with the NHS Gender Identity Clinic that could take years. Feeling the need to take action as soon as possible I decided to facilitate my own transition. I have been on testosterone for 9 months and already and my mental health has improved significantly. I have had a private assessment with a gender specialist and a consultation with a chest reconstruction surgeon, both have given me the green light to go ahead with the next step in my transition.
Wearing a binder with a larger chest is incredibly uncomfortable I regularly experience back pain and find it difficult to breathe in hot temperatures. I am eager to undergo surgery by the winter so I can fully recover and be binder free by Summer 2019. I will have been on testosterone for over a year and I feel desperate to take this next step.
In the last few months I have felt happier than I ever have, but feeling bound in this way is indescribably uncomfortable and is something that I struggle with every single day. I will be so grateful for anything you can donate to help me towards surgery, even the price of the coffee, everything counts.