Today, I can't take another day of waking up, binding, fearing if someone will slip up and call me the wrong pronoun, name, or "out" me. Each day, I wake up and lie in bed for an hour, just to work up the courage to get up and get dressed. I dread having to put on a binder, fear if my shirt is too tight, or worry if someone will "out" me. Each day, I have excruciating neck and back pain from wearing the binder, but I push forward. I have often prided myself on empowering others in the community. Today, I'm learning to reach out to the community for support of me. I have decided to do fundraisers for my chest surgery. I was just denied for the second time by my insurance, even though I did everything right according to what they asked. My doctor and surgeon are going to fight it, but I have to have another alternative because that can take years to fight.
The cost of surgery is $6,000 and I will be scheduled to have surgery in my hometown. Should I raise more than my goal, I will donate the additional money to a local non-profit, Garden of Peace Project.
My story. My
name is Michael Battle and I'm 25 years old. As a child, I always felt
innately connected to every other soul and person. When I was around seven
years old, I asked my mom to tell me about the CYF building in Downtown
Pittsburgh. She told me that it was Children, Youth, and Families and that the
people there took care of orphans. After I processed that orphans did not have
parents, I looked at my mom and said, "I'm going to adopt children when I
get older." My mom looked at me the way she usually did, with a smile and
eyes that said, "Wow. Where did this child come from?" Funny thing, I
was always thinking about ways to help others. At any given time, I would give
away my last dollar to a friend because I thought they may need the dollar
The first memory of feeling discrepant in my body was around 22 months of age. I knew that I was a boy, as I tried to pee standing up, but my body didn't match. Throughout the rest of my life, I continued to "come out" in different ways. When I was ten years old, I began to physically develop. When I was told that I had to wear a training bra, I cried silently and my heart sunk. I prayed that God would let me wake up as a boy. As I got older, my breasts got larger and my prayers became louder and more frequent. I would cry myself to sleep at night; at times having anxiety attacks because I would get so overwhelmed by emotions. The anxiety attacks would bring about more tears and more frustration.
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