Student uses college loans to pay for ‘life-changing treatment’
A Liverpool student has used his university loans to help him start his transition journey.
Jack Evans, from Huyton, has decided to privately pay £800 for ‘life-changing’ hormone treatment to start living life as his true authentic self. The 21-year-old felt he had no choice but to do so after seeing the length of NHS waiting lists.
To help with the cost burden, Jack started working as a Covid-19 marshal at his university, but has now changed roles to become a student ambassador offering tours to prospective students and helping out at open houses to save more money.
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He said: “As a transgender undergraduate student, I used my student loan to privately pay for life-changing hormone treatment. After learning that I was facing a three-year wait for a such treatment on the NHS, I knew I couldn’t last this It would simply have been disastrous for my mental health.
“Instead, I used my student maintenance loan to pay for a private clinic for various consultations and the testosterone prescription.”
Jack first realized he was trapped in the wrong body when he was just 15 years old. He remembers being a typical ‘tomboy’, but now acknowledges in hindsight that ‘there were signs growing’. However, Jack didn’t learn what the term “transgender” actually meant until much later.
He told ECHO: “When I was watching a documentary about a young trans man, and I identified with him a lot. As soon as I had the words to put my feelings in, things started to become very clear. My feelings surrounding my gender identity was very much in line with the story I was hearing, and then I started learning more about trans people and watching trans creators on YouTube.
“Hearing these stories and watching trans people really gave me the confidence to first accept that I was a trans man and then find the voice to tell others. It’s a very difficult process to try to navigate who you are at a young age. when there’s so much other stuff going on with school and life in general, so it took a while before I fully came to the conclusion that I wanted to start my journey.”
After completing his GCSEs, Jack, who suffered from a lot of anxiety and depression, found the courage to come out. He added: “It’s very scary to come out for the first time, especially when education about the trans community didn’t really exist in my school. It really feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders when you go out, even if it’s just for one person.
“I had built it up in my head to be a huge secret and I expected everyone to react terribly. Hiding it from people really weighed on me and it was so hard, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I could just, “I haven’t gotten there yet. As soon as I got out it was great because I didn’t have to hide things in my head anymore, I could tell people about it.”
Initially, Jack wasn’t sure what name or pronouns he connected with, but with the support of his friends, he quickly found his feet. However, her family was a different story, not because they didn’t accept, but “because it’s always a difficult situation for parents.”
He said: “If someone isn’t educated about the trans community, then it’s hard to find out something like that, especially from your child. It took my parents a while to fully understand, but as soon as that they saw how happy I was being my true self, and the confidence I gained from presenting myself as a man, things changed for the better. It may have taken a while, but I am completely tuned into everyone now and can honestly say I have the most amazing people in my life.
Today acts as Trans Day of Visibility 2022, a day dedicated to shining a light on the community and drawing attention to “the fact that trans people exist and aren’t going anywhere”. Jack alongside Liverpool Hope University has launched a city guide for trans students. The Pink, White and Blue Liverpool guide proudly promises that ‘hate won’t win’ and points scholars to all the ‘inclusive and empowering’ institutions the city has to offer. It includes everything from gender-neutral barbers and hairdressers to bars and nightclubs and even LGBT+ inclusive sports teams.
Jack added: “Last summer I had the idea of creating a brochure about the safest spaces for trans people in the city and highlighting a few places. It was my response to the increase in hate crimes that happened in Liverpool I wanted trans people especially those who had just moved to Liverpool for college to feel safe in the city I love Liverpool it is very diverse and I didn’t want fear to scare anyone away. This flyer ended up becoming a booklet because I found so many places.”
While today is a day of celebration, Jack also believes it is a day to educate others. He said: “Allies need to show they care all year round. Trans people don’t just exist for TDOV, or Pride Month, we fight our battles every day. Having the support Allies is so important and it needs to be there all the time. If people can show support for trans people all year round, the world will become a more accepting place.”
Fortunately, Jack said he was now in a position where his gender dysphoria was mostly under control and he was “happy with how he looks and enjoying life”. In the near future, Jack hopes to independently pay for chest surgery.