A TRANSGENDER music student is calling on the public to help her begin treatment to transform into her true, authentic self.

Ellie Williams, from Ulverston, began feeling a mismatch between her biological sex and gender identity around her mid-teens.

For a number of years, the 21-year-old music student suppressed her feelings of gender dysphoria until around a year ago when she felt she could not suppress it any longer.

Miss Williams, who is in her third year at Kendal College, feared declaring her female gender may lead to ridicule and judgment.

“When I was growing up gay was used as an insult quite a lot,” she said.

“I was really fearful about how people might react. There’s a lot of transphobia, particularly in the UK and US, which scares me a lot.

“But being able to be who I truly am is the most amazing feeling.”

After reaching a ‘breaking point’, Miss Williams revealed her new gender identity to her friends and family last year.

“I just felt this constant discomfort in my body until I reached a breaking point,” she said.

“I was starting a new year at college where no-one knew me and it was like a fresh start where I could begin living my true self.

“My friends and family all reacted very positively. They almost made me feel silly for worrying about it so much.

“If I could give everyone a dose of what it feels like to finally be myself, I would. It’s the best feeling in the world.

“It almost feels like before I wasn’t really living, I was missing out on so much.”

Last year, Miss Williams reached out to the NHS about starting her transitioning process, however, she has remained on the hospital waiting list for more than a year.

She said: “Understandably, this long wait is very stressful and, despite doing what I can to attempt to alleviate the dysphoria, I’m experiencing mental racing as well.

“I’ve been told I could be on the list for around three to four years.

“So I set up a fundraiser to help me progress with private care instead, through GenderGP, which is a lot quicker process.”

Miss Williams has launched a fundraising page to help pay for private hormone therapy to begin her physical transition.

She said: “This goal of £500 should enable me to make the necessary arrangements so that I can go from where I am now to starting hormone blockers, anti-androgens, and oestrogen as the consultations see fit.

“With this I hope to start leading the life I want to.

“If I reached this goal and could start the process, I would feel like I’m finally stepping forward into who I’m meant to be.

“It’s a real honest change in my life - it would mean the world to me if people could donate.”

To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/9uymj-ellies-transition.