Ella-Morgan, 27 from Bristol, underwent gender reassignment surgery at 21. She has spent years navigating her own, and other people’s, feelings about her gender and appearance.
Ella-Morgan knew at a very young age that she was different but didn’t understand that she identified as a female until several years later.
She explains: “When I was around 12, we had sex education at school and the phrase ‘transgender’ was mentioned in passing. It was a lightbulb moment for me. I did some research and the more I learned, the more I understood that it applied to me – I knew I was meant to be female.
“But I realised this was only the beginning of a long journey. Throughout my teens, I started hiding who I was from those around me. I was trying to figure out how to come to terms with that realisation and the actions that I could take.”
It wasn’t until she was 18 that Ella-Morgan told her immediate family, something she describes as “very painful and difficult”.
She says: “There was a long period where they struggled to accept who I really was, and what I wanted. I’m very lucky that I now have the support of my parents, brothers and my nan - in fact, my dad is my biggest champion and my nan, who I live with, is my best friend.”
Ella-Morgan underwent her gender reassignment surgery through the NHS, precluded by a long period of counselling, hormone therapy and psychological assessment. She later had a breast augmentation followed by facial procedures and laser hair removal with Transform.
Ella-Morgan explains, “My journey to the real me wasn’t finished. My focus now switched to the facial changes I’d been wanting. I saved up for fillers, because I felt I needed to feminise my face. I had cheek, chin, and jaw fillers at Transform, as well as lip injectables, and they certainly worked, changing my face from being skinny and gaunt to softer and rounder.
“The procedures I had helped me begin to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I had just come out as transgender on Instagram, which was a huge step for me, and that’s when I found out about a Surgeon Assistant role the company was advertising. I applied, and I was thrilled to get it. I loved my training.
“Since then, my confidence has grown. I’ve been able to help patients to boost their own confidence, which is so important to me.
“I think it’s crucial that gender reassignment and other related procedures become more accessible. There is less funding and longer NHS waiting lists each year, and there are very few private providers who specialise in trans treatments. It’s encouraging to see companies like Transform doing this, especially when they can offer more affordable ways to pay for procedures that might otherwise feel out of reach. Knowing what you need to do to live the life you were born to live, but not being able to access or afford the procedures, must be crushing. The positive impact that having access to treatment can have on mental health and wellbeing can’t be underestimated.”
Now Ella-Morgan is also offering much-needed support and guidance to others in the same position as an ambassador for Transform’s gender identity offering, Identité.
“It may sound odd, but my surgeries – the physical side of my transition – were, in a way, easier than the psychological battle,” she says. “It’s something I’m very aware of when I am speaking with my trans patients.”
She continues: “I’ve worked with Transform for two years, and in that time I’ve supported patients through a range of treatments, from breast reductions to rhinoplasty. I absolutely love what I do and it’s a pleasure to advise and guide then all, no matter which treatment they’re undergoing. But this new role focusing on gender identity is very close to my heart – I feel like the stars have aligned.”
If you’d like to read more about Ella-Morgan’s journey to becoming the person she is today, you can find her 3-part story here.
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