Watch: Worthing trans woman talks about challenges they face and why they’ve set up a fundraising campaign for life-changing surgery

A trans woman from Worthing who has described being in the wrong body as ‘absolute hell’ has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for life-changing surgery.

Eddie Thomas, 25, has started a fundraising page to help fund their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and social transitioning from male to female.

Eddie’s goal is to raise £2,000 and currently, just over £400 has been donated.

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Lockdown was a time for deep thought for Eddie, a primary school teaching assistant, as they had many months to come to terms with being transgender, and in late October, 2020, they came out to their family and friends.

Eddie has started a GoFundMe page to help them raise money for life-changing surgery so they can transition from a male into a female. Photo: Lily Dedman

Eddie said: “I have always felt more comfortable presenting more femininely, I have felt more strongly connected to female protagonists in fiction, I have always preferred women’s fashion and beauty above men’s and the term, for me at least, provided the answer as to why I never liked my body since I was a teenager.

“I was, and still am, in the wrong body.”

Eddie would prefer to complete their journey through private healthcare as on the NHS, people can be waiting between two to four years just for a referral.

Eddie said: “This isn’t cheap, in fact, it’s eye-wateringly expensive, but this is my best option. Currently, I live in the UK, where the whole system for transitioning (as well as wider trans healthcare) is deeply broken and unfit for purpose.

“Whilst it is free to medically transition in the UK, the waiting lists for a mere referral can last between two to four years and the process to get HRT involves outdated assessments from a panel that predetermines whether or not I’m eligible – and there are no plans to fix the system.”

Eddie described being in the wrong body in two words – ‘absolute hell’.

They continued: “I could try and be fluffy and try and be as light-hearted as I can with it, but to be perfectly honest it feels like absolute hell and is stressful.

“There are some points where I don’t necessarily feel happy in my body but where I think ‘maybe I can just carry on with my day as per normal’ but there are so many other points in my life and almost everyday has always been a constant struggle with that clash of gender identity and it has always been something I want to try and resolve.

“Even before I came to the realisation that I was trans and wanted to transition, I had spent a lot of my time at university trying to figure that stuff out and I suppose it has also led to me being more explorative with labels, trying to work out what fits and what doesn’t.”

Another one of the many obstacles that Eddie and other people who identify as transgender have to face is the media and the public.

Eddie said: “There are various different media outlets, regardless of the political spectrum, where there will always be transphobia here, there and everywhere, and it then also feeds back into the readership and a lot of other people and it is something I have to consider every day and something I have to think about.”

Luckily, Eddie has a good support system around them, including their work colleagues, family and friends who have provided them with ‘unconditional support’, so much so their love has reduced Eddie to tears.

Being able to go through with HRT and social transitioning means a lot to Eddie. They said: “It would mean a lot for me to have this surgery. To even get on HRT and go through all the surgeries and appointments, to be in that body that I think I have always wanted to be in, it would mean so much to me.

“I am more or less prepared for anyone who wants to try and throw obstacles in my way, as long as I am in that place and that body where I feel absolutely happy, then I am sure I will be more content and certainly feel more free, and hopefully start to feel more like myself.”

You can find out more information about Eddie and help them complete their journey by donating on their GoFundMe page.