Hello. I'm Susan Werner -- though my name on my twitter account is Susan DerAnderson 'cause "Ms. DerAnderson" sounds like "Mr. Anderson" (it's a silly Matrix reference). I write words (I had a blog but deleted it 'cuz of all the racist and ableist comments i kept getting on it) and code. I'm also working on implementing emi koyama's idea for an SMS-based bad date list. I do things with hardware too -- I've done things with mobility equipment, and i played around with a DIY X-ray machine someone I know made (here's an x-ray of my left hand i took myself). I'm not just interested in doing things with hardware and software -- access to technology, knowledge about it, and spaces to do things with it are all very important issues. I got groped at a hackerspace in October and wrote a piece about my experiences with harassment in hackerspaces and how this sort of action are part of more general cultures of exclusion in hacker/geek/maker social spaces (the piece is currently being edited and hasn't been published yet). Oh, and auntiepixelante signed my copy of her (awesome) book with "make a game about [drawing of butt] and [drawing of buttplug]", so I guess i need to do that some day too :P
I am a trans woman, and have been on exogenous estrogen for more than two years -- however, that doesn't affect facial hair. I've gotten laser hair removal, but that only removes dark colored hairs -- light-colored hairs don't absorb enough of the laser light for them to die. While the remaining hair isn't dark, it's still visible and has a noticeable coarse texture (unlike thin vellus hairs). Not only has the remaining hair caused lots of emotional pain, it's exposed me to direct harm. About a week ago (I'd rather not be more specific with the date), while working (I'm a sex worker), someone thought I was cis and then looked closer at my face, realized that i was a trans woman (he made a comment about my facial hair). He got angry and threatened me with violence. He ended up not hitting me but he stole my money and my phone before he let me go.
Before that incident, getting electrolysis (permanent hair removal) wasn't that high of a priority for me However, not getting it is now a very real safety issue for me. The problem is that getting electro is expensive -- $85 an hour with the electrologist i decided to go with, and i can't afford that and pay rent at the same time. It's a slow process because it involves inserting a very fine needle down each individual hair, then passing an electrical current for a few seconds which heats up and kills the hair follicle. This must be repeated for each individual hair at least once, and yes, it does hurt. I've consulted a few people who do electro -- they've estimated that it'll take about ten hours of electro to clear my face of the thick coarse hair. Ten hours at $85 per hour (which is a pretty reasonable rate for electro around here) is $850, which is the amount i'm asking for minus the fees that wepay will take.
If you can't help out financially, that's OK -- feel free to share the link to this page around.
I'm very grateful to everyone who helps me get this done -- this means a whole lot to me and will hella improve my situation. Oh, and if I have money left over from this, I'll use it to help my friends pay for their hormones.
Note: it might show a different name than Susan Werner on the receipts -- the reason is that a friend of mine is using their account, so my legal name doesn't show.
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