Make Me Feel Normal (Cassie needs surgery.)

By Cassie Workman

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Let me take you back to the nineteen eighties, or if you weren’t around then, just imagine the video to Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday Night,’ ‘still pretty accurate.

It wasn’t like now, no one had a mullet ironically, and there were certain things that just weren’t talked about. People weren’t as savvy or observant in the eighties, people didn’t notice things like how bat shit crazy Trump’s hair was, or that the planet was getting hotter, and they certainly didn’t notice the signs that a child growing up in small town Western Australia was transgender.

We never heard the word ‘transgender’ back then, it just didn’t exist. So even though I knew I was a girl, I had no way to vocalise it. Also, I was as sure I was female, as I was that no one would help me. Like I said, there was no ‘transgender,’ if a boy acted like a girl, he was just a ‘poofter,’ and sooner or later, someone would tell you “Hey, stop acting like that, you’re upsetting your mother.”

So I did stop. For twenty five years.

I haven’t heard a Trans person’s story yet that isn’t riddled with traumatic events, and mine is no different. Over the years I suffered crippling depression and anxiety, became unable to function in relationships, developed alcoholism, and attempted suicide a few times. But the time for feeling sorry for myself is officially over. I came out publicly in front of hundred plus people earlier this year, and if you would like to hear that announcement there is a link below.

Things are far better for us now, and Trans visibility and acceptance is improving, but one thing hasn’t improved since the eighties… people who work in the arts have no money.

I can’t afford the procedure that will alleviate my dysphoria, and I need to ask for help.

To put in perspective whatgender reassignment surgery means to me, or if you have trouble imagining what it would be like to not identify with your assigned gender, here’s some stuff that I think about constantly:

As soon as I wake up: What’s that thing down there? Oh right. I forgot I had that *cries*

In romantic relationships: Can we just snuggle instead?

Using a bathroom: Mixture of shame / fear / self-loathing.

Looking in a mirror: Just the worst.

What this surgery means to me is that for the first time in my life, I won’t be constantly thinking about how wrong I feel. The prolonged disconnect between my mind and my body will end, and I can’t describe that any other way than saying it would make me ‘free.’

If you would like to contribute to my page, then you are totally cool and I like you. And in all seriousness, you are doing something, no matter how small, that will radically improve my quality of life, so thank you x


I am a stand-up comedian and writer, who spends her nights making people laugh. I regularly perform around Australia, but I live and work mostly in Sydney. I am a highly lauded storyteller and

monologist, specialising in modern day fables for theatre, and arts festivals. I plan to continue this work in the spotlight during my transition, to raise awareness of Trans issues.

I am a qualified instructor of Russian Systema, a military combat martial art used by Russian Special Forces, and I teach at risk people voluntarily.

I play the piano and the ukulele, and I love to sing. I am an accomplished songwriter and have been commissioned to score several theatre productions. I also taught piano for many years.

I like to illustrate when I get the chance, making comic books and paintings mostly for my own amusement.

I am an avid cook and spend most of my free time making Italian food for the people I love.

Please connect with me on Facebook or Twitter


The storytelling podcast from Giant Dwarf's Story Club where I tell my story "Last year, I experienced a harrowing depression that almost resulted in the end of my life. I feel I owe the people who love me, and took care of me, an explanation. What follows would have been, for all intents and purposes, my suicide note."


I am doing a fundraising show at Giant Dwarf on Wednesday 11 October if you would like to support me here's more info and how you can get tickets.

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    Offline donation

Team Members

Cassie Workman

Claire Stone

Maggie Looke

Mim Emmons