Fundraising for Freedom

Introduction

Peace and Blessings Everyone,

My name is Mykell Hatcher-McLarin and I'm a 21 year old man of transgender experience fundraising for chest reconstruction surgery. Currently, I am a senior at The University of Maryland at College Park majoring in Sociology with a LGBT Studies minor. My passion is motivating and affirming transgender people of color as they navigate through social and systematic discrimination based on their race and gender identity. I strive for transgender people of color to know that we are here living our lives and making change, whether or not all of us can be open about our struggles and triumphs as members of our community. That is my focus, my passion, and my purpose.

The surgery I'm going to have is important to me because I have been socially transitioning since I was 16 years old and am taking the initiative to further my physical and spiritual transition. I have been on testosterone for a year and 8 months, which puts me past the 6 month requirement for top surgery, and have been living full-time as a man for going on 3 years. I was thankfully able to run a campaign in August 2013 and rose a significant amount of my funds. In addition, since my last campaign I have been able to work on my anxiety and incorporate positive affirmation into my everyday self-image. I have become more comfortable with body and have been practicing physical fitness and healthier eating practices in order to get my chest and body better fit for surgery and my continuous spiritual journey.

The shift in my self-perception of my body has since made my male identity far more fortified in its roots and my presentation. Yet there is only so much I can fulfill without my chest reconstruction surgery. There is still much anxiety I cannot dissipate. There are many body image problems I cannot avoid. And there are numerous self-loathing moments I cannot pretend do not exist. I still fret in thoughts of facing violence in my communal dorm restroom after taking a shower, which prompts me to shower once weekly rather than regularly. I still slump to try to conceal my chest in the gym, even with my new appreciation of my body. I still have moments in the mirror where my eyes completely avoid my chest. Even though I have come much further than I was, I still hurt and experience pain while loving myself. My surgery is needed for me to reach my level of wellness and spiritual vision I require to truly and completely interact with myself and the world as I fulfill my purpose.

With your contributions to my campaign/fundraiser, I will finally be able to achieve complete body wellness that will enhance my inner peace and spiritual balance. I hope that as many of you all will travel with me along this journey for I would deeply appreciate all the support you can provide.

What I Need & What You Get

The keyhole top surgery costs $6,390 and is going to be performed by Dr. Daniel A. Medalie in Cleveland, Ohio on May 30, 2014. All the donations I receive, even if I don't reach my entire goal by the end of this campaign, go directly into my savings account where I have about $4,700 saved up for my top surgery fund ONLY. Not including outside fees (like transportation, food, and so on), I need to save up $1,690 more by May 16, 2014 in order to ensure I get my surgery. Since I have already scheduled my appointment it is imperative that I raise the rest or there is no possible way I can actually get the surgery. Therefore your donations are extremely important to my overall success.

Due to the incredible importance of your donations, I want to do my best to give my contributors different tokens of appreciation. When you all donate, you receive a gift from me (and my friends who are helping make these gifts). The lowest amount you can donate to receive each gift is listed below (and on the side of this page):

$1: I will hand-write you a personalized thank you note addressed to the name you provide when you donate.

$10: Baked Goods

$25: "Freedom" design shirt. Image will be provided in the pictures section.

$50: Crotchet scarfs. Images will be provided in the pictures section (10 claims)

$100: I'll design something for you.

$200: I will paint you the larger "Freedom" design. Image will be provided in the pictures section (5 claims)

All gifts will be amalgamated, meaning that based on the funds you donate you will receive additional gifts (depending on your request). For example, if you donate $37 - you will receive a [25$ perk] as well as [10$ perk] and a personalized thank you note. If you request not to receive additional gifts then you will solely be given the gift that is designated with the lowest donation amount.

The Impact

As a public speaker and advocate, I focus most of my work on being a vocal force in the gender justice movement. As I mentioned before, I focus on affirmation and community building for individuals who feel they don't have networks of people to look to for guidance and reassurance in their identities. I primarily advocate for transgender youth of color because the upcoming generations are beginning their self-realization process at younger ages and need as much support as possible throughout their self-discover and self-empowerment. Our young people are our future and for them to know they are not alone is important in expanding our community and providing a connected, fortified foundation for growth and uplift.

This process of affirming others is deeply rooted in my ability to affirm myself, which is why this surgery is so important to me and would have a fundamental impact on my life and the work I want to dedicate my life to doing. There's only this last run and I know I'll make it to the heights I wish to be at and be able to help bring others to their highest as well.

I have no doubt that now is my moment for to finally get my chest reconstruction surgery that will further promote self-healing, self-growth, self-affirmation and self-empowerment. All I need is that extra push of support and before I know it I will be waking up feeling liberated and free.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are unable to contribute, I ask that you please spread the word and share this link with those you know through any avenue you can imagine. Also available are Indiegogo's share tools provided under the video.

With Love and Affirmation,

Mykell Hatcher-McLarin
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Organizer

Mykell Hatcher-McLarin 
Organizer
College Park, MD
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