South African transgender bodybuilder shares his journey

Transgender bodybuilder Jayce De Villers

Jayce De Villers is a transgender bodybuilder who’s hoping to undergo top surgery (Photos: supplied)

At the age of 25, Jayce De Villers from Nelspruit, now working as an English teacher in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, finally embraced his true gender identity.

Born in a woman’s body, and sensing an attraction to the same sex, Jayce came out as a lesbian at the age of 12, but deep down sensed that he wasn’t being true to his authentic self.

“I knew something was wrong.. something was missing… something was not right. My past relationships never worked out due to my internal personal struggles,” says the 26-year-old Jayce in a media release.

When he began bodybuilding in 2018, as a vehicle to gain confidence (and mass), he started entertaining the voice in his head that was telling him to embrace the man he always knew he was on the inside.

For the last three years, Jayce has been taking testosterone, which has made a tremendous impact on not only his physical appearance but his mental health, too.

“From being masculine to having facial hair (still struggling), to my voice changing, I love the changes that are happening in my life and living in my own skin. But of course, there’s a lot still to accomplish before I can be totally okay with looking into the mirror and loving what I see,” says Jayce

Taking strides toward self-actualisation, Jayce has decided to take a giant leap, with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, to fund his top surgery in Thailand, estimated to cost R100 000.

Jayce and his wife, Leandri (Photo: supplied)

“I hate to admit it but my breasts are something that kills me daily. To see the straps of my sports bra kills me. To wonder if my sports bra is showing underneath my button-up shirt kills me. To not swim at a beach because I don’t want another person coming to me and asking me why I wear a bra – kills me,” he says.

“I dream of the day where I can walk freely without a shirt and with confidence take a dip in the ocean or swimming pool with my beautiful wife.”

Jayce hopes that by sharing his story, he will not only take another step towards feeling at home in his body but also give other trans individuals the courage to live their truth.

“I’ve honestly never thought I would get things started in regards to top surgery and I’ve always envied a lot of people who put things in motion. Everyone before me and everyone after me who follows their hearts and lives a life worth living to themselves is an inspiration,” says Jayce.

“Having this surgery will finally grant me the freedom I have craved so desperately my whole life. Please open your heart to my story, and join me on this journey, whether your participation is a donation, a share, or a kind comment. This gesture of kindness and respect will mean the world to me, and empower others to take a step away from darkness, insecurity, self-loathing and into the light.”

Leila Ebrahim, from Gender DynamiX comments that: “The road to gender-affirming healthcare is not an easy one. Gender dysphoria is real and in certain cases results in death due to mental wellness. Medical aids need to realise that this journey is not cosmetic. It takes true wisdom to fathom the unique difference between sex and gender.”

You can support Jayce’s top surgery by donating on BackaBuddy or alternatively, donate via Snapscan.

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