Hi all, my name is Liam and as you can see I’m raising funds for my “top” surgery (chest masculinisation surgery). I am a 33 year old transgender man living and working in Cape Town (South Africa), I started my journey on the 1st June 2017 which involved taking cross hormones( testosterone) to masculinise my body and alleviate my feelings of gender dysphoria associated with certain female aspects of my body.
Gender dysphoria is different for each transgender person, however it is very real. Imagine for a moment your mind, soul and spirit is male but your physical body is female and every time you look in the mirror your body betrays your true gender identity. The pain is indescribable at times and this is the pain I carry with me every day, but even though the intensity of the pain varies each day I don’t let it stop me from living my life and fighting the good fight.
I’ve been taking testosterone for the past 13 months now and it has brought about many changes that I have welcomed such as a much deeper voice, more muscles, fat redistribution and facial hair so this means that I no longer pass as a female. The one thing that testosterone can’t eliminate however, are my breasts so I have to wear a binder to flatten my chest so it appears I have a normal male chest.
Wearing a binder keeps me safe because it helps me to pass in public as cis gendered man(cis gender means you identify with the gender you were assigned with at birth) without people giving me a second look, however wearing a binder isn’t safe for long term use. It can bruise or crack ribs, result in muscle pain in the shoulders and back, it has to be tight enough to flatten the breasts and this restricts my breathing, it can’t be worn for more than 8 hours a day as it can cause serious and permanent damage to the ribcage. I live with constant back, shoulder and rib pain from binding and I’ve been binding safely for 8 months
I can’t afford to pay for the surgery myself and I can’t rely on government hospitals to help me, the waiting list for top surgery is 25 years or more at the Groote Schuur hospital so this route is not ideal but is the only option for many transgender men. The effects of binding long term complicate the surgeon’s job as the skinstretches and becomes thinner which means the surgeon have to work harder to create a good masculine looking chest and this unfortunately increases the cost of the surgery.
Medical aids / health insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of any surgeries they consider to be gender affirming, they believe it to be cosmetic which trust me when I say ÏTS NOT!! I’m currently arguing this very thing with the health insurance company I belong to, I can only hope that I am successful but I need to be proactive so that is why I have created this account to raise funds for my surgery
The reasons why I need top surgery
HAVING MY GIRLFRIEND TOUCH MY CHEST FOR THE FIRST TIME, EVER.
Not having to wear a binder everyday
Not having to experience pain from binding everyday
Wearing vests or t-shirts without worrying if my chest is flat enough or if others can see my binder through the shirt/ t-shirt that I’m wearing
Waking up and not feel exposed because I’m not wearing a binder
To hug people fully without fear of them feeling my binder under my shirt or t shirt
No overheating during summer because I will no longer have to bind and wear layers to hide the outlines of the binder.
To exercise again without feeling so self-conscious
I can swim, surf and enjoy outdoor activities again.
No longer having to worry about people touching my chest
To walk around shirtless
To feel freedom
And most importantly to make my body feel like home.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read a part of story and experience a piece of my journey, may you be blessed.
Hi all, my name is Liam and as you can see I’m raising funds for my “top” surgery (chest masculinisation surgery). I am a 33 year old transgender man living and working in Cape Town (South Africa), I started my journey on the 1st June 2017 which invo…