A 19-year-old woman who claims to be “gender neutral” is to have her breasts removed to eradicate her female features.
Opi Baron says she was “assigned” female at birth but now feels disgusted and ashamed when she sees her 30D chest.
She insists on wearing unisex clothes to stop people identifying her as male or female and even binds her breasts down each day in a desperate bid to stop them being noticed.
Now Opi has planned drastic surgery to have her breast tissue removed and become completely flat chested.
She said: “You are brought up and taught from a young age that there is only ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ and just two boxes that you can fit into but that’s not the case.
“Instead of it being black or white, male or female, it’s like there are a whole range of shades in the middle which is where I am.
“If you saw me in person I have feminine traits but I have abandoned the attempts to fit into that box of being female.”
Gender dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
Opi of St Neots, Cambs., was brought up as a girl by her parents but claims she knew something wasn’t right – only realising last year after she hit the internet for answers.
The teenager is non-binary – which means that Opi doesn’t identify as neither man nor a woman.
“I began to develop physically very early and I had very distinct feelings of disgust and shame,” she said.
“The girls in my class were often very excited to be women, for bras and all of the other grown up girl things we were taught, but I found it extremely distressing.
“I was detached from the group of girls. They would be like ‘check out this lip gloss’, and I just wasn’t interested at all.
“It felt like I was doing something wrong so I tried to give in and join in with them.
“We would go shopping and they would tell me to buy something which I would, but I’d end up hating it.”
The only time Opi can remember wearing a dress was for high school prom, where she vowed never to force herself into wearing something again which she didn’t want to.
The teenager said that she is not worried by what people will think of her when they know the procedure she wants.
Opi added: “I like to think of myself as a thick skinned person regardless, my body and therefore my business sort of thing.
“People who have listened and understood, only want the best for me.”
Opi has been with her boyfriend, Phill Abbott, 22, for the past year and spoke of the struggle to get him to understand her situation at first but he has been supportive in her choices.
She moved in with Phill, a pharmaceutical salesman, due to housing and financial circumstances back home in Bristol.
Opi says she is “pansexual” which means not being limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity – but Phill is a heterosexual male.
She said: “My relationship with Phill works like any other normal relationship – two people who love each other and are together.
“The narrow minded attitude of a large degree of people out stands me because there are many more sexualities than ‘straight’ or ‘homosexual’.
“There’s nothing out of the ordinary in my relationship, we do everything that everybody else does.”
Opi now needs to raise at least £6,000 to pay for the private procedure as her only other option is to join a long NHS waiting list to be assigned to a gender clinic.
Prices for the procedure, a bilateral mastectomy, start from roughly £5,000 but extra costs for aftercare are also needed.
The cosmetic surgery would remove her breast tissue but Opi would keep her glands so that she could breast feed in the future if she decides to have children.
Opi, a data entry clerk for the NHS, added: “I’m already excited to take the bandages off. I haven’t got my procedure secured and I’m already excited about the ‘after’ moments.
“Phill being a man said he liked my boobs but if I didn’t want them he was fine with that. He is more concerned about me being happy.
“My mum just asked why I would do that to myself but I think it is just another form of cosmetic surgery and if I was getting them enlarged, it wouldn’t be questioned.
“Raising that money would be a dream and I feel so bad asking complete strangers for cash, but I really do need their help.”
To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/