Can you help bring me to life?
I was named Thomas at birth, but I've never been a boy. I lived for forty years feeling out of place in my own skin, holding my breath for four decades. In April 2016 I finally exhaled letting the world around me know that I am transgender.
I began hormone therapy in July of that year, beginning to experience what it felt like to truly be me...
But ten days later, as a sad effect of living with Type 1 Diabetes for 33 years, I suffered a TIA (a transient ischemic attack) - a mini-stroke.
The TIA partially numbed my left side, from my foot to my hand.
The attack showed me I'm potentially vulnerable to blood clotting damage - and taking estrogen escalates that risk beyond a comfortable chance.
To become truly me - to come alive as Tiffany - I could no longer pursue Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I couldn't walk the path most transgender people take to their true gender.
While the path of HRT is closed to me, other paths are available. One path is through facial and voice feminization surgery. And while the medical community is gaining an understanding of what it means to be transgender, and what must be done to right the wrong, insurance companies are glacially slow to adapt.
Facial feminization surgery, or FFS, is not covered under insurance, and the price for these procedures is more than I can afford, with the total sum being roughly $75,000.
In reviewing my options for surgery, my doctors and I have identified the essential, core procedures that can bring me to life as I truly am - but this amount is still around $45,000.
Facial and voice feminization surgery will bring me to life as Tiffany - as who I truly am, as who I have always been, through four long decades of acting the part of someone else. Having these procedures is just as important as gender confirmation surgery.
When I look in the mirror I see a divide between what I see and what I feel, it is called gender dysphoria. These surgeries help bridge the divide. And these changes to my appearance, more than vanity, are real safety precautions, letting me have a greater chance of being accepted, lessening fear of angry rejection, aggression, and violence. 2017 has already seen at least 18 transgender people killed violently - strangled, stabbed to death, shot. The fear is real.
The surgeon I am trusting to perform these procedures has over 30 years’ experience in helping a person look as though no surgery has been performed, and that they are as they were from birth. He has helped many trans people come alive as their true selves. Now I hope he can help me.
But I can’t do this without your help.
Please consider donating to my fund -
and if you can't afford to donate, you can still help by sharing the campaign. Every dollar and every share helps.
Thank you so much for reading this.
You can help bring me to life.
- Dawn DeVries
- Tricia Baggott Torres
- Jon Krivitzky
- Maria Huebner
Organizer and beneficiary
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