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Sage (they/he)

When I needed assistance with transitioning, I decided to turn to my community again, as I no longer trust doctors. I received a binder through G(end)er Swap’s free binder program, which has been a massive weight off my shoulders (no pun intended) whilst I remain on the GIC’s waiting list for top surgery.

My name is Sage (they/he), I’m a 26-year-old Black, neurodivergent, nonbinary lesbian. I’m a freelance social media creative working for POC + queer centred orgs, and in my spare time, you can find me watching TikToks or reading.

A Black person wearing a lilac tracksuit, reading a magazine

18-year-old me was excited to start uni, but the transition from home life to being independent was overwhelming. This soon led to me experiencing suicidal ideation, executive dysfunction, and frequent panic attacks which made me fall behind in uni, as well as struggle to keep part time employment. I felt like an alien trapped in a world that wasn’t built for me and there was no way out. This was amplified by the lack of support provided by my uni.

I didn’t understand why I was feeling like this, so I decided to see my GP. Unfortunately, I was discharged from the CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for missing an appointment. In defeat, I didn’t attempt to access their services again. My mental health soon spiralled, so I desperately tried to get an assessment with my new GP, as I had stopped going to my lectures. I was prescribed antidepressants that didn’t work and had counselling that was unhelpful due to the counsellor’s lack of understanding of anti-Black racism and misogyny.

I then came across the term “ADHD.” I never understood the condition before, so I decided to research it and realised the traits fit me to a tee. I already knew I was dyslexic, dyspraxic and dyscalculic, so this felt like the missing puzzle piece.

For years I tried to receive a diagnosis for ADHD, but I was told by doctors that there’s no point because the waiting lists were so long, and even when I was persistent they were still reluctant to refer me to adult ADHD services.

I was even misdiagnosed with borderline personality disorder when I came out as non-binary – which I believe was due to stigma against my sexuality and gender identity. When I requested a name change with my GP, they became hostile towards me. I felt that this new diagnosis and revealing myself as trans had affected my level of care. 

I took matters into my own hands and sought private treatment as I could no longer deal with being chronically disorganised, feeling scatter-brained and unable to keep up with simple daily tasks such as laundry and cooking. The high costs meant I needed to crowdfund in my community to be able to afford treatment. The support I received was unbelievable – when a community comes together it really can be life-changing. I was able to gather the costs I needed for treatment and carry on with my life. 

When I needed assistance with transitioning, I decided to turn to my community again, as I no longer trust doctors. I received a binder through G(end)er Swap’s free binder program, which has been a massive weight off my shoulders (no pun intended) whilst I remain on the GIC’s waiting list for top surgery. 

I’m currently awaiting an autism assessment but have been able to manage my conditions with the support of other neurodivergent trans people and online resources.