A NORTH-EAST trans woman is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to go towards 'life-changing surgery' in a bid to feel 'comfortable' in her own body.

Samantha Fletcher, 20, who was genetically born as a boy, launched a GoFundMe appeal after finding out 'top surgery' would not be available on the NHS.

The customer service worker from Gateshead told The Northern Echo that the NHS would provide her with 'bottom surgery' and hormone replacement.

But surgery to make her chest appear 'more feminine' would not be available, with costs expected to reach anywhere between £4,000 and £6,000 privately.

She said: "My GP has been very supportive throughout all of this, and the NHS are helping me with the bottom-half of the surgery.

"But I've been told that breast surgery is only available in really exceptional circumstances.

"It's become harder for people who are genetically female, because it's all cosmetic and they think it's not necessary."

But for Ms Fletcher, who first realised she did not 'belong' in a male body when she was just 12, having breast surgery would help her fully transition. 

According to the NHS website, breast implants for trans women are not routinely available on the NHS.

Ms Fletcher said: “I do somewhat show as a female - I am doing everything I can, I have the long hair and the accent but my breasts won't become feminine on hormone treatment.

"It's not just about how it looks, it's about feeling comfortable.

"Feeling that you're in the wrong body and you don't belong in it is difficult, it get's you down and you want to do whatever you can to fix it."

Ms Fletcher said she was hoping to raise as much money as possible, even if it did not cover the whole cost of surgery, as it would help to remove some of the financial burden.

She added: "There would be no way to process the emotion if I managed to raise this - it would be a dream come true."