I've been binding (the use of restrictive material to make my chest look smaller) for a little over two years now and the cost isn't only financial. Physically, I can't go jogging in public without a binder otherwise I get strange looks and when I do wear one, I can't catch a full breath. I can't wear certain clothing items in fear that my binder will show. I've noticed how horrible my posture has become and how, after wearing a binder too long, my chest and back ache and the irritation it causes on my skin.
Mentally, I dread staying the night at friends' homes because I'm worried what they'll think when I have to take it off at night. I refrain from changing my clothes at the gym because of my fear of being caught (even though I'm changing in a stall). When I catch the reflection of my full body in the mirror, I feel intense dysphoria that has sometimes kept me from going out or taking pictures because of how much I hate to look at my body. Top surgery will finally give me the chance to feel complete. Whole. One with my body instead of loathing it.
Despite whatever your beliefs and understandings are of transgender folks, I hope you can recognize the mental anguish it is to feel like an alien in your own body. I chose Dr. Alan Dulin at the American Institute of Plastic Surgery to be my surgeon for the double mastectomy procedure. Since my insurance doesn't cover any transgender care, I must go out of pocket to undergo the surgery. I'm asking for $5000 to help cover the costs since I have been able to squirrel away some money including the cost of a down payment.
Top surgery will give me freedom first and foremost, but maybe you're wondering, what else could being boob-less really do for James? Welllll...
I can finally go swimming without shame!
When I go jogging, I can actually breathe!
I can wear any shirt or top I can get my hands on without worry!
I can get sunburns that'll slowly turn into a tan on my chest!
I can stop binding which will do wonders for my back and skin!
Every dollar counts and will be greatly appreciated. I wrestled with the idea of starting a GoFundMe, but as you know, in today's America, crowdsourcing is one of the only ways to get necessary medical needs met.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your time and for any thing you donate. Knowing that you helped a guy feel at home in his body will hopefully make you feel as honored as it makes me feel that you took the time to donate.
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