I’m Jamie, a transman from South London. You may know me (as Jamie, Bex or Purple Bex) from the UK and global World of Darkness LARP-ing community, in which I’ve been active for over 15 years, and without the support and friendship of which I wouldn’t be here today. My WoD and Camarilla 'Family' have been the heart of my social support for longer than I can remember, and thank you to White Wolf (who started it all) and to all the players, writers, Storytellers and admin folks who have been involved ever since. <3
I am life-limitingly disabled with Fibromyalgia and related CNS, sight and immune problems, which ended my media career over a decade ago, and have since been (unwillingly!) on disability benefits. I have a very low income, but still, over the last four years, I’ve been saving hard to fund those parts of gender transition that the NHS (an agency for which I am very grateful!) doesn’t pay for, while physically and mentally preparing for surgery, working to make my little dream come true.
Like many transpeople, I’ve lived through poverty, bullying, violence and abuse, homelessness and depression while in constant pain from my disability, and like many people with gender dysphoria, proposagnosia and body dysmorphia, I've fought a constant battle over the years to just keep on living in a confusing and hated skin - but I haven’t given up on my dream.
So, ok... what is Jamie’s dream? Well, it’s small and simple, but deeply important to me - to go swimming again (important physio to keep my FMS in check!), shirtless and happily Jamie-boy free, proud that my body is no longer giving away the secrets of my past. To feel, for that moment... well, free. At last.
My body tells stories through its physicality and its outdated ink, and I need those stories erased for good, with your help. I need to see myself in the mirror and feel confident and complete, here and now, and for the future. hell, I'm never gonna be Tom Cruise (I'm far shorter than him!), but I want to feel good and confident about myself at last.
I am very lucky - my top surgery (chest reconstruction) was done on 3/23/17, and through a rocky and painful recovery so far with serious infections, surgeon mistakes to deal with and future surgery needed next year, I'm still saving, and I’m still significantly short (£630) of my needed goal.
I’ve raised just under half of the money I need, and so, ashamed as I am to do it, I’m asking for your continuing help in becoming the confident self-made man I am inside.
I need to raise a total of £1,150 on this fundraiser, to enable my covering the following remaining costs, though I have managed (thank you all!!) to pay for most of my care costs through your generosity and my savings -
- Ongoing physiotherapy to regain full use of my arms and shoulders, not available on the NHS (ongoing weekly cost)
- The purchase of my very own electric razor (£60)
- Medical tattoo reconstruction of my eyebrows from an obviously feminine shape ((£500 + £50 consultant fee)
- Removal/cover-up of an excessively feminine back tattoo (a teenage mistake) and the shame of every locker room I go in (£150)
- Removal of an extremely badly executed arm tattoo 'gifted' by an abusive past partner, including my femme nickname at that time which is clearly readable, hidden by long-arm t-shirts for the last 15+ years (£300)
- The purchase of my very first properly fitting suit, for church and family events... and, of course, LARP - after all, every oWoD LARP-er needs a suit! (£100)
For a long time I held back on doing this, and tried to make this appeal a kickstarter of 'me' - to find something I could use to pay back those generous enough to help me somehow. But, disabled and without paid work, all I can offer you is my gratitude, and my promise to ‘pay it forward’, always, and to continue to volunteer as an ST and charity worker to bring enjoyment to others in the WoD LARP community. I promise that will do all I can to support my trans peers, and I promise that I will make this new life granted to me worth every penny or cent invested in it.
My eventual aim is to complete my theatrical training, now transpeople are accepted in drama schools here, and act again either as an amateur or professional and to work as a volunteer drama therapist for young people with special needs. Acting - especially in LARPs! - was for so many years a blessed outlet for me and I want to say thank you by sharing that outlet for expression with others in need.
But in the short term, all I can say is thank you to anyone kind enough to invest in my future and my dream. In that beautiful moment when I dive into a pool again, as a happy, confident guy, I will be thinking of and thanking each one of you. The date I've set to aim for is my now-passed Dad's birthday, as he supported me all the way, and I'm planning on a sponsored swim in the Olympic Stadium pool in London, for the British Heart Foundation, as my Dad died of heart disease, as have several dear friends I've known in recent years.
Thank you for reading my appeal, and thank you to all my friends, particularly from the WoD LARP community, for years of kindness, love and support.
Thank you, in helping me become the guy I am inside, who isn't afraid of mirrors or cameras anymore, who smiles when he catches a glance of himself in a window-reflection. And to all of you, may your dreams one day come true, too.