Transgender teen fundraising for life-changing surgery

A transgender boy who went private with his transition to avoid waiting lists of up to five years has turned to his community for help in the next step in his medical journey.

By Wes Holmes
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 4:40 pm

Young carer Perri Taylor, 17, needs to raise £9,000 for top surgery, an operation to remove breast tissue, as waiting lists for the procedure – which is performed by less than 30 surgeons in the whole UK – extend more than two and a half years in some places.

Perri, who lives on Newton Drive, said: “I came out as trans when I was 14 and since then I've had major dysphoria around my chest. It’s very hard, constant anxiety thinking that people will notice.

“Top surgery has always been something that I’m 100 per cent sure that I need. I think once I get it, I'll finally have freedom.”

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Transgender teenager Perri Taylor is raising money to pay for his surgery, which has a waiting list of 5 years on the NHS. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The former Unity Academy student, who now works on Blackpool seafront while also looking after his granddad following a stroke, decided to go private with his transition as NHS waiting times for specialist clinics currently stand at five years before a first appointment.

Following that first appointment, patients must attend a series of follow-up appointments before being approved for hormone replacement therapy – meaning many trans people wait seven years or more before receiving treatment on the NHS.

Perri said: "I’d always kind of not liked myself, but I didnt know why. When I figured out what trans was, I related to what other trans people were saying and it just clicked and I realised it sounded just like me.

Transgender teenager Perri Taylor is raising money to pay for his surgery, which has a waiting list of 5 years on the NHS. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“Unfortunately I got outed in high school and was bullied quite badly. I got called slurs. I was that kid that everyone spoke about. I was constantly getting into fights.

“I was so insecure, I didn’t want to be seen by anyone, by the world. I just wanted to be invisible.

“Since leaving high school I’ve found myself in a better place and working is definitely better for my mental health. But the dysphoria is still there.”

Perri’s mum Katie Myers, 40, said: “When Perri came to me a few years ago saying he was transgender, in the very beginning I said come back in six months if you still feel that way because I thought he would go back. But six months later he felt the same way, so we went through GenderGP (a private trans health clinic) and he’s been on hormones for a year now.

“He’s desperate for surgery. It must be a nightmare for him on a daily basis, walking around with a female body when he's not that person. He's saved about £500 so far – but it costs a heck of a lot more than that.

"To be stuck that way makes him feel very depressed. I can only imagine. he's gone through stages where people have called him names, and that has been hard to live with.

“I'll do whatever I can to help. That's what being a mum is about. It was difficult in the beginning, it was very hard to adjust, but at the end of the day, your kid’s happiness is the most important thing.

“As a single mum, I don’t have a massive amount of money. I wish I did. But I do look for ways to support him.

“My biggest fear is hatred. There’s a lot of hatred out there for trans people. That’s what worries me most as a mum.”