Trans writer and gamer gal saving up for necessary surgeries

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Hi, everyone!

I'm a transgender woman living in the south of England with my wife and our feline pals. I teach/tutor undergraduate science at the Open University and spend most of my spare time whittling away at a series of novels I've been writing for some time now. I also maintain a small YouTube channel which largely comprises my own performances of songs in a VR music/rhythm game called Beat Saber... as well as full game reviews and video chats about my writing and other interests.

As a pre-op (i.e. pre-operative) trans gal living in the UK, I currently have essentially no support from the NHS for my transgender healthcare. Back in the summer of 2017, I finally managed to convince my GP to refer me to one of England's very few official GICs (i.e. gender identity clinics), but when I last checked, the estimated waiting time for a first appointment had increased from the 2 years I'd originally been quoted... to "over 3 years". So my very first opportunity to receive any sort of professional help for my gender dysphoria won't come earlier than summer 2020, assuming the GICs don't continue to fall further and further behind their patient processing estimates.

In the meanwhile, I'm doing the best I can without any proper medical assistance. I've researched my options extensively and ultimately turned to self-medication whilst I wait to be seen by the GIC. I obtain my HRT (i.e. hormone replacement therapy) meds from abroad, as whilst they're legal for me to own and use, UK pharmacies can't sell them to me unless I have a prescription. Whilst it isn't easy or cheap to purchase hormones this way, at least by doing so I don't feel completely helpless and/or unable to make headway with my gender transition as I wait for the NHS.

I've set up this Liberapay account as a way for anyone who enjoys any of my endeavours (my teaching, my writing, my YouTube videos, etc.) to contribute towards a series of very large expenses that I will need to incur in a few years' time. Specifically, I'm saving up for various transgender surgeries, all of which are orders of magnitude more costly than my current HRT. The most pressing of these for my own happiness and mental well-being is something called FFS (i.e. facial feminisation surgery), as every time I leave the house people see my face and make snap judgements about my gender on that basis alone. This is an example of just one of many surgeries not covered by the NHS, assuming I'm eventually seen at a GIC at all.

Anyway, I didn't mean for the description to run quite so long, so I'll rein it in. Many thanks in advance to anyone who decides to support me in this! I believe you can leave a note along with any contribution to say if you wish it earmarked solely towards a specific purpose. I'll also keep a running tally of how much has been donated, so I can provide occasional updates on how things are progressing. Hopefully, someday I'll be able to report that enough's come in that I can schedule the first surgery!

All the very best, Zoë

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