‘I see a man that isn’t me’ - Edinburgh trans woman desperate for facial surgery
A transgender woman from Edinburgh who said she can't stand to look at her reflection in the mirror is crowdfunding £20k for Facial Feminisation Surgery.
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Jessie Kirk, who came out as trans last year, is hoping to raise enough money for the expensive feminisation surgery, which is not currently available on the NHS.
The 32-year-old said her desire for the surgery is not just about looking more traditionally female, but is also about her safety as a trans woman.
“The surgery is not about beauty or youth, it is about my safety,” said the computer programmer, who was forced to move to Edinburgh from Northamptonshire to escape a torrent of abuse about her identity.
“At the moment I know I don’t look female at all. I want people to look at my face and treat me like a cis woman. I wouldn’t have to deal with being made fun of anymore.
“It would be life-changing for me, I would be accepted and welcomed everywhere. I would not have to tell people to treat me as a woman and I would be free to use female spaces.”
Facial feminisation surgery encompasses a broad range of procedures to change masculine facial features into feminine ones.
Examples include having your hairline moved to create a smaller forehead, having your lips and cheekbones augmented, or having your jaw and chin reshaped and resized.
Surgery can cost up to £20k
These procedures are not cheap - costing patients up to £20,000 - and, with limited help provided by the NHS, many trans women are forced to crowdfund for medical bills.
Ms Kirk said due to the cost, these “life-changing” procedures are out of reach to most trans women “unless you are super rich”.
Supportive wife Amy is determined to help her partner find a way to afford the surgery and the couple started a Go Fund Me page asking for support.
“I really don’t like asking strangers for money but I can’t afford to transition privately and I don’t know what else to do,” said Ms Kirk.
I always see a man that isn’t me
Having started hormone treatment in spring last year, Ms Kirk said she is desperate to get further surgery that will allow her to start living her authentic life fully.
Until she can undergo surgery, Ms Kirk will have to continue living with a face she can’t stand to look at.
“If you have never suffered from gender dysphoria, imagine how deeply disturbing it would be to wake up with someone else’s face. The worst part is no-one else seems to notice.
“I have been living with this since I hit puberty. My mum tells me all the time that I am beautiful and pass for female but even if this is true I always see a stranger, a man.
“No matter what I do I will continue to look in the mirror and see a man that isn’t me. This has led to a lot of self-loathing and depression for me.
“Any help towards my transition cost would be appreciated greatly.”
To donate to Ms Kirk CLICK HERE.