My mum died when I was 10.
I was born in Scarborough, my mum was Scottish. My dad left when I was two. We weren’t well off, it wasn’t the most financially stable of families. We moved around a lot. But she was great mum, she taught me to look after people, to look after myself, how to cook, iron. I feel in my heart it’s almost like she knew that something was going to happen to her.
My mum died when I was 10. I went to Scotland with my younger brother to live with my aunt and uncle. It didn’t work out there for me so I came back to live with another aunt and uncle when I was 12. My brother stayed there.
I started to feel quite confused about myself
When I was 13 I started to feel quite confused about myself. I came to the conclusion that I was maybe trapped in the wrong body. I sought support at school but it was a religious school and I don’t think they knew how to deal with it. When people found out, there was a lot of bullying.
I wanted full gender reassignment surgery. My family weren’t the most supportive but they said that if I still wanted to go through with it when I was 16, they would fully support me.
‘if you really want to go through with this, you can do it but not in this house’
By the time I was 16 it was still in my mind as something that I really wanted. I didn’t want to be me anymore. I wasn’t sure who I was, what my purpose was. But my family said if you really want to go through with this, you can do it but not in this house. And that hit me quite hard. That was quite difficult to take.
So I came to Foundation and told them what was happening and they referred me to SASH. They said that a hostel was not the right environment for a person like me.
My Support Worker is always there if I need to get something off my chest.
During my time in SASH I learnt more, met new friends, I developed a better understanding of the world around me. My host is fantastic. She’s been there for me to talk to, like a friend, and my Support Worker is always there if I need to get something off my chest. I stopped going to college in my first year but my Support Worker made sure I got back in and finished my course.
I had some support through MESMAC. I was pretty sure I would go through with transitioning and it wasn’t until I was 18 that I started thinking about what I really wanted, who I really am, the bigger picture of my life. I started thinking about my career and that I want my own family. I was lucky that I never got to medication.
I think at 13, when I was having those feelings, feeling not right in my own body, it was insecurity. My insecurity came from the fact that for years I felt the only stabilising influence in my life was my mum. At 10 years old, I lost that.
The difference that SASH has made has been unimaginably good.
The difference that SASH has made has been unimaginably good. It was a very supporting environment, especially for someone like me at that age. It has given me the space the time and the support to try and figure out who I was, who I am now. The structure to understand how I am going to move on into adulthood.
I’ve come from being someone that was quite a quiet person from after all these bad experiences, to being quite confident in myself, a lot more open. I’ve decided I’m just going to accept myself, who I am and just focus on my future, and not worry about anything.
I’m in my last year at college now. I’m going to university in September to study acting.