Limerick native Cole O’Connor Goodwin has set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for gender affirmation treatment.
Cole came out as a transgender man last year to his close friends and family, who he said have been very supportive, along with his girlfriend Brooklyn. Due to long waiting lists and a lack of gender specialists in Ireland, Cole has decided to travel abroad to begin his physical transition.
He said: “I’m fundraising for top surgery and hormone therapy to start myself off. It’s very hard to raise money on your own.
“It’s important because I’m getting a chance to become who I truly am. It’s me being comfortable in my own body. It’ll help me wake up in the morning and to be confident.”
Cole has dealt with instances of transphobia but says the overall reaction from the community has been very supportive. He added: “People would look at me and be like ‘It’s just a phase, what if you regret it?’ I know I’m not going to regret it. I know that I’m going to be happy.
“So far the reaction has been very good. Everyone has been very supportive. That was a bit of a shock.”
Cole has stressed the need for more gender specialists in Ireland and gave advice to those in a similar situation. He continued: “Three years is a long and painful time just to even get started, we need a lot more gender specialists and surgeons that will be able to do top surgery.
“For young trans people now, I would say don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Holding yourself back for more and more years, it’s going to be a bit harder because you’re going to realise that you should’ve came out all those years ago.”
He added: “It affects your personality, you’ll be a bit more quiet and keep more to yourself. If you come out when you’re younger, you’ll have a lot more time to blossom.”
Along with Cole’s personal savings, the money from the fundraiser will go directly to gender affirmation treatment and travel costs. The GoFundMe can be found here.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.