Transgender man reveals wait for NHS surgery led to him considering suicide

A transgender man from Norwich has revealed how the lengthy wait for gender-affirming surgery on the NHS led to him contemplating suicide.

Frankie, 21, was born a girl but realised by the age of four that he didn't feel comfortable in his own skin.

"I was about four years old when I realised that was something was wrong," he told ITV News Anglia.

"I didn't have the words to explain how I felt. I just knew that my body wasn't right. It didn't match with what was inside my head and I ignored it for a long time. I denied it. I tried to be a little girl but it just didn't work out."

Frankie was born a girl but always felt uncomfortable in his own skin growing up. Credit: Family photo

Frankie was 16 when he began to transition as a male.

Desperate to finally feel comfortable in his own skin, he started to look into options for surgery on the NHS but was shocked to find he'd have to wait around six years to go under the knife.

He's now decided to go private after raising nearly £4,000 himself, while the remaining £2,000 has come through crowdfunding.

It's a path many transgender people have opted to go down, with the campaign group Stonewall recently revealing that around half of transgender people have considered taking their own life because the wait is so long.

An NHS England spokesperson told us that they're trying to reduce the current waiting times and have almost doubled investment since 2015 to £5.7 million.

However, Frankie says opting to pursue private surgery has more than likely saved his life.

Frankie believes surgery will save his life. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's a very difficult thing because, for me, I personally would not have been able to wait on the NHS to get the surgery because it would be years away.

"I'm very excited but I'm also quite nervous because it's major surgery and there's weeks and weeks of recovery, but I know that at the end I'm just going to be happy and comfortable and feel normal."