Ever since I was 5, I've known that what I saw in the mirror wasn't what I was meant to be, but being just 5, there wasn't much I could do - hormones in 1975 New Zealand to transition were unheard of at the time. At the age of 15, I started work and started buying girls clothes. My teenage years were painful and difficult. I knew in my heart and mind what I was, but getting there was going to take time.
It wasn't till we moved to the UK that I started to meet others like myself and heard that magic word ‘trans’. I was told by a friend to get a referral to the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health which back in 2014, took just a few weeks and not years. My first appointments are still fresh in my mind. After 9 months of starting at the clinic, I got my first HRT prescription. I cried so much because I knew my real journey was just beginning.
Then I had my two-hour meeting where I was told I had been granted my shot at surgery. I had breast augmentation first, then because of COVID my lower surgery was delayed for 8 months, but it finally happened.
After surgery, the first words out of my mouth were ‘at last, I’m free’. My name is Aiyona and it means she wolf, although my friends call me Angel. I try and help anyone who is considering transition. Everything I am today I owe to the kind caring professional team at the Nottingham Transgender Clinic. They saved me and made me the happiest woman alive ♥