A non-binary photography student at Falmouth University has set up a crowdfunding campaign to fund surgery.

Jae Holland, 21, is hoping to raise the funds to get the surgery done privately due to the current NHS waiting times being prolonged because of Covid-19.

They want to undergo top-surgery, which is the term given to reconstruction surgery to the chest area to become gender neutral. 

Jae suffers from dysphoria - a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity, which can lead to depression and anxiety - and is hoping the surgery will help alleviate this.

Jae said: "I want to try to go privately as it’s quicker and my mental health is being affected because of my dysphoria.

"My dysphoria can come out at different times. It can trigger thoughts of 'why don't I look the way that I feel?'

"You look at your body and think 'this doesn't match up with how I feel inside and how I want my body to look'.

"If I do go out in public and I'm having a day when I'm not really comfortable, I'll pick apart each part about myself that I don't like. People stare and I'm way more aware of it than if I were at home.

"I get quite anxious in public when people come to say either 'Miss' or 'Sir' or ask something along those lines. You think 'am I going to get mis-gendered today'?"

Jae added: "Waiting on the NHS is long and due to Covid-19 I haven’t been able to go to the GP about getting referred.

"The process is probably about an 18 month wait to get seen anywhere. It gets disheartening."

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Falmouth Packet:

Jae Holland

Jae's target is to raise £7,000, which will help cover private pre-assessments, surgery and potential after care.

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Jae said: "I know people that have had top-surgery and they've been so happy with the results. It does create a whole new outlook on the way you see yourself and how others see you.

"It's the freedom of being able to take your top off at the beach and feeling like you're comfortable to do that without people looking at you.

"My goal is to get it done before my graduation in May / June time because I want to be able to graduate knowing that I've got through this massive transitional stage in my life and come out of it with a really good degree and feeling good about myself.

"I'm already overwhelmed by the fact that people have donated and it's really great just to know that people can see that people want to be who they are and accept them for that.

"It's amazing to know that actually people want to help you out because sometimes you do feel so alone in how you think and you feel trapped in this body.

"A massive thank you to those people who have already donated because it does make a huge difference, not just to me but to other people, to see that people are being accepted for who they are, even though they're different."

You can donate to Jae's Go Fund Me crowd-funder here.