Trans woman saw gap in the market after fearing for her safety

A Liverpool woman started her own business after fearing for her safety while walking the streets.

Robyn Electra, originally from Nigeria but now living in the city centre, is the CEO and founder of Gaff and Go - the UK’s “first” transgender lingerie brand. The company caters for pre-op transgender women, non-binary people and those who tuck.

As a transgender woman herself, Robyn knows all too well about dealing with the pressure of fitting into what society deems as “women enough”. Having now gained the courage to be who she really is - she wants to help others along their transitioning journey.

The 32-year-old told the ECHO: “Growing up trans and being a trans woman of African descent was very challenging. My environment was extremely hostile towards trans people and members of the LGBTQ+ community. With no access to trans products within my community, I started using industrial gaffer tapes that were extremely painful and damaging to my body.

“I was using unsafe methods to tuck in order to achieve a discreet and flat front. If I didn’t do this I felt very unsafe walking around the streets. It felt really dangerous in public like everyone was looking at me when I was wearing a dress."

Robyn came out as trans when she was 20 years old. After this, and for a long time, she struggled with gender dysphoria - which is what the NHS describes as “a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity”.

The activist explained how she, like a lot of her trans sisters and brothers, wasn’t in the financial position to “go under the knife” to help with her gender dysphoria. As a result, Robyn needed to find an alternative and took “matters into her own hands” and launched her brand.

The business owner said: “Every day gender dysphoria would play on my mind when I looked at my crotch. Some people go under the knife but not everyone can, it is very costly. Being a black trans woman, I faced a lot of double discrimination and was never supported or accepted. This hurt me a lot. One of the first steps, for me, to solve this problem, was to make sure I had the right attire so I would feel like myself.”

Over the last six years, Robyn has been developing the perfect tucking gaffs that solve the problem of constantly needing to readjust your underwear. A gaff, at its most basic, is an item of compression underwear made to be worn by transgender women, or those who tuck, to achieve a flatter, more gender-affirmed look.

Robyn added: “My experience and knowledge have been put into my designs so as to create the perfect gaff that conceals everything. As far as I know, I’m the only person making gaffs that come in five different styles and colours.”