My name is Victor. I am 53, a transgender male and currently unemployed.
But that has not always been my situation. I am educated and have been working for the majority of my life in senior management positions at various corporate companies. That was until I was made redundant at the age of 50. For 3 years I have not been able to get any regular employment and as I made the decision to become the man I am and have always been, I am facing some very difficult challenges.
As a transgender individual one of the hardest things to face is how your body does not reflect the person you are on the inside. Not only is it hard to see yourself in the mirror but because our society identifies a gender with the body a person has, it is extremely important for transgender individuals to align the outside gender indicators with the gender they identify with.
I have been on hormones since September 2019 and because of the physical changes they cause (deepening of the voice and hair growth), I sometimes get identified as a man. However, some of the physical changes a transman needs to fully integrate in society as a man, need surgical procedures. There is top and bottom surgery, which, as the name says, reconstructs the chest to look like a male chest ( this includes removal of breast tissue and is called top surgery) and the bottom gender reassignment surgery, which can be done in various ways. 99,9% of the transmen will consider top surgery first as this is the most visible and most gender assigning indicator for society. The change a person goes through in this whole process is called transitioning.
My biggest challenge at the moment is the lack of funds to be able to undergo gender reassigment top surgery. Here in South Africa, there is a state procedure one can get, but the waiting list currently is close to 20 years... As a 53 year old, that is a thought which causes a very depressing outlook. I have been put on the waiting list but the only way I will be able to get the surgery, which I need for my psychological well being, will be if I can pay the costs for the surgery out of my own pocket.
Currently the surgery costs have been estimated between R55000 and R65000.
I am building up a brand called Sir-Vic. My aim is to assist others of the LGBTQIA+ community to make their dreams come true, be it building up a sustainable income or getting assistance with personal projects.
Worldwide members of the LGBTQIA+ community face a lot of difficulties and find it increasingly difficult to live their life freely, contributing a rainbow of colors to everybody's life.. Let's help each other help each other.