"I’ve always felt like a boy – I’ve always been a boy – but I was born in the wrong body." .

Jay before Treatment (January 2009)






I’m a typical bloke – deep voice, hairy chest and a few muscles I’m proud to show off in the right light.

I look relatively well adjusted for my thirty years on the planet. And for the most part, I guess I am. But if you were to look a little deeper you may see the remnants of who I used to be.

The man I used to be was technically (at least physically) a woman.

Allow me to explain…

Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing the opposite sex, but still feeling like you. Ladies – imagine no breasts, but chest hair and a penis. And blokes – imagine looking down at your body and seeing breasts, other lady parts but missing that something all blokes think of as pretty vital.

This was my life; the life of a transsexual man. Of someone born in the wrong body. This was my (seemingly) inescapable reality until about four years ago when I made the decision to stop existing and start living. To throw in my cards and deal myself a new hand by embarking on a quest to finally feel at home in my own skin; to become the man I always knew myself to be.

It started in 2009 when I was watching videos on YouTube about men like myself, assigned female at birth (AFAB) feeling trapped in their female bodies that were medically transitioning to become men. A light was turned on inside of me – there was hope for me yet! I read books that were basically like reading my own biography, joined a chat forum and asked lots of questions, before ultimately making appointments to see a psychiatrist and a GP.

But truly it started many moons before that epiphany. When I was around three years old, I remember asking Santa for a ‘sex change’ (as if it were that easy!). I always hated the dresses mum insisted I wear. I allways wanted my brother’s toys. The only Barbie I was ever given is still in her box. When I started school, I wondered why I had to wear a dress instead of the shorts and pants the boys were wearing.


I’ve always felt like a boy – I’ve always been a boy – I just happened to have been born in the wrong body.

My family and friends took it all in their stride. There have been stumbles and “she’s” thrown at me from time to time, and the odd birth name but everyone seems to have gotten there now. I remember my dad simply asking if he had a son or a daughter now – and I told him a son, and he’s never questioned it. Mum said that I was always more masculine than feminine anyways and neither were greatly surprised by my decision. Other family members were also not terribly surprised – some stating that this made absolute sense and it felt somewhat “wrong” calling me “she” all those years. As a man of few words, my brother made no real comments and I’ve just became his brother, godfather and uncle to his kids. My sister was (unnecessarily) apologetic for having me as her chief bridesmaid when she got married – but I’d wear the silly dress again to to see her so happy like she was that day.

Jay 3 years and 11 months after treatment (October 2013)

All of a sudden, it’s 2013. I’ve been on hormones the past four years which has caused redistribution of my body fat to more of a male pattern (in the belly, instead of hips/thighs etc.), facial hair, changes in my voice and increased my strength and ability to build muscle – among other masculinizing effects. I’ve had surgery to remove my breasts and a total abdominal hysterectomy. And now it comes to decision time again. Do I want life changing, genital surgery?


After a lot of research, soul searching and weighing up the pros and cons I am adamant I need to have sex reassignment surgery to continue and move on with my life. And while I know that having a penis doesn’t make me a man – there is definitely more to it than just that. It’s having one that will make me feel whole. The way things should always have been.

The worst thing about this decision is that is isn’t really offered here in Australia. Nor is there any financial help from the government or my private health fund. It’s at least $60,000AUD out of my pocket, and that’s just for the surgery. Add on travelling costs to Europe or the USA and I’m looking at a grand total somewhere around $75,000AUD!

Well… I guess no one said following your heart was easy.

But that aside, this journey isn’t only about the physical changes and the surgeries – they’re a big part of the process – but there’s also the emotional and psychological side. Interacting with the world officially as a visible man, not that I was ever really a “woman”. Adjusting to the role I am now expected to play – protector, provider, strong, dependable. That may sound really stereotypical but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still expected of a man!

But this is the best journey of my life. The best decision I ever made for myself. I feel, and people comment that, I am so much happier, more confident, healthier – more alive than I ever was prior to transitioning. Sometimes I wish I had done something a little earlier, maybe said something when I was younger but honestly if I had I don’t think I’d be the person I am today.

And for the first time in my life, I really like him. I now look, sound and move about the world, as I should have all along – as a man.

Jay one year on from treatment:

Jay’s voice comparison:

Jay is currently raising money for his gender reassignment surgery. If you are interested in helping him out just head here.