Community rallies behind transgender person seeking breast removal to feel whole

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DENVER — Two years ago, Kitt Taylor, 24, began taking hormones to reflect the image Taylor identified with on the inside, and the journey is nearly complete with help from Coloradans.

Taylor was assigned a female gender at birth and identifies as transgender and nonbinary. Taylor uses they/them pronouns.

Taylor is raising money to have their breasts removed and help Taylor embrace their body.

“I just don’t feel comfortable on either end of the gender spectrum — male or female,” Taylor said.

For years, Taylor has felt disconnected from their body and struggled with who they see in the mirror.

“I don’t see something that matches my internal perception of myself,” Taylor said.

Nearly two years ago, and less than a year after giving birth to their son Elliot, Taylor began taking hormones.

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“I really wanted to change the shape of my face, my voice,” Taylor said.

Taylor found comfort in the changes, but continues to battle with she/her pronoun assumptions from the public because of Taylor’s breasts.

“It’s just this one last piece that I need to deal with to sort of be myself authentically,” Taylor said.

Taylor plans to undergo top surgery — the procedure removes breast tissue and reconstructs the chest to look masculine — which costs $11,273.

“My insurance doesn’t cover top surgery for nonbinary people,” Taylor said. “The language they have is very male-specific, and they say they need letters from your therapists saying that you identify as male, and I wasn’t going to lie.”

Taylor launched a GoFundMe to cover the expense of the surgery.

“It hurts me living in this body,” Taylor said.

Taylor uses a binder to flatten their breasts and help them feel more comfortable in their body, but it’s a temporary fix for a limited amount of time. Taylor suffered from scoliosis, a curvature in the spine.

“If I wear it for work or something it causes me too much back pain,” Taylor said.

Sable Schultz is the director of transgender services at The Center on Colfax, an LGBTQ community center. She identifies as transgender and began helping transgender individuals find support groups more than five years ago.

She came out in the 90s and transitioned in the early 2000s. She says while more transgender people have access to information, people continue to struggle with mental illness because of their body image, lack of insurance coverage and high demand of documentation for procedures.

“At least 40% of transgender and gender diverse folks contemplated suicide or even attempted suicide, so a lot of this is around these relationships with their body — the social pressures they experience to conform to an identity they themselves don’t have,” Schultz said. “It just continues its to wear adding layers of depression, anxiety, even in some ways things that almost mirror PTSD.”

Taylor admits to suffering from depression since they can remember, but overall, Taylor feels a sense of anxiety and disassociation with their body. Taylor feels removing their breasts will help achieve a sense of comfort and the freedom Taylor has been seeking for years.

“Free from my chains of femininity — a forced femininity — and would have just regained that control because then I can control what people see,” Taylor said. “I will definitely be able to be like my most authentic self.”

Taylor’s wife, Maddie Stensrud, is also transgender and identifies with she/her pronouns. She says she fully supports Taylor.

“Every day, I hear 60 days, 59 days — this is just going to be lifechanging,” Stensrud said.

If you would like to contribute to Taylor’s GoFundMe, click here.

For information and forms on how to update your name and gender marker in the State of Colorado, click here.