That's how much it will cost me to get the surgery that I want done.
Aussie Dollars, so only about $55,000 US. And a lot of that is airfare, and accomodation overseas. But it's still my entire life savings, pretty much.
Some of it, about a third, is so I could at least look relatively normal, and not "ambiguous" in the bath. Oh yes, and so I might just possibly have something like a normal love life in future. A shot at it, anyway. Without it, many jurisdictions would still classify me as "male" anyway, it's not really optional, it's a neccessity.
The rest could be classed as an investment: getting contracts isn't easy, and although I look OK enough to go shopping and so on, no-one could call me beautiful. I'm cynical enough to believe that a woman whose face doesn't actually stop clocks has a distinct advantage over an equally qualified one with a "nice personality". It's possible, though unlikely (I hope) that without some facial surgery, I may end up being unemployable. Overqualified, too specialised, too odd... I'm getting that now.
But the real reason, the only reason if I'm honest with myself, is that I looked so awful for so long. I already look adequate, just about. But it's possible that one day, if I just had the money, I'd look Good. Not just Good, Very Good for a woman my age. Recompense for 32 years of suffering since puberty, in a body that was OK for a guy, but nothing remotely like any other girls was. It would be.... healing.
There are also certain relics of childhood experiences I'd long forgotten, that really need fixing by a facial surgeon. The crushed brow sinus. The nose broken in 2 places. Both from incidents before I was 9 years old. Transsexuals are different, they don't fit in in either gender group, and tend to suffer for it at school. I'd forgotten that - I had to.
The stuff that happened later, on the bus trips home from high school, the cigarette burns to my arms and hands, the ligature marks on my neck where I'd been choked unconscious, they all healed without scars. Well, without ones that showed, anyway. The time three boys had me trapped in the back of a boat, and just took turns spitting on me for about an hour, that didn't even hurt my body in the slightest. I'd forgotten about that too, I had to to keep up the male act. To convince myself that despite my inner feelings of difference, my body was male, I had to play that role. Besides which, things like that happen to everyone, right?
No, it's only the beatings that left damage a surgeon can correct. Ones inflicted by little kids who didn't know any better, they just knew I was different. I did too, just didn't know why, then.
Pipe Dreams. I can't afford it. Spit again. $25,000 I can afford. $70,000 would wipe me out, no retirement savings, no safety net for the thin times, no extra cash for my son for school excursions, or a bike, or a new VR-set... I can do without it. I have to, no matter how much it hurts. Oh well, worse things happen at sea.
Now would be a good time to hit the Tip Jar, by the way. I've already had nearly $300 contributed towards my $5,000 of out-of-pocket medical expenses so far, and that genuinely helped. My thanks to those who donated, you didn't have to, but it's really appreciated.
You know what the really scary and tragic thing is? Compared to nearly every other woman on the planet in a similar position, I've had it easy. I'm quite genuinely lucky to have gotten off so lightly. So many can't afford the $25,000. Many can't even afford the $50 a month for the hormones.
And more than a few of the youngest can afford it, but only by selling their bodies.
I've had it easy, and I know it. Rather than bemoaning my troubles, I should thank my lucky stars. Because next to the bith of my son, and my meeting my partner, this strange, bizarre, and miraculous thing that's happened is the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life. That sorta puts things in perspective.