"My confidence and self worth was once virtually non-existent; where I lived in constant fear of judgment, rejection, or misunderstanding. Now, I no longer hide behind falsities and I refuse to bury myself down or pretend I'm something I'm not. I'm proud to be part of the LGBT+ community, and I'm proud of myself. "
These are Jesse's own words from a Facebook post in honor of Pride Month that he wrote last summer. Imagine spending over twenty years feeling like you're in the wrong body, out of place, insecure, and unsure if revealing yourself as who you are might somehow take away everything you have. It may be a struggle, at times difficult, at times painful, but it is worth it and necessary to be who you are.
Today, Jesse is facing a steep challenge as he prepares for top surgery. This invasive procedure can have a recovery period of as long as 6 weeks, taking a heavy toll physically and mentally. Although his insurance covers a significant portion of the procedure, there's an additional $3000 needed out-of-pocket to make it a reality. This will cover funds that have not already been gathered as well as living costs for the time he will miss work. The procedure will take place mid-March, which means payment is due in early February. We're hoping to have the funds raised by February 5th.
Jesse is a warm, dynamic person. He's a talented artist, a doting son, brother, friend, and coworker. Jesse actively seeks to help those around him, striving to make the world better, whether that be something as simple as bringing in cookies to make his coworkers smile or working to make the world a better place for people like him. Jesse is also transgender.
About a year and a half ago, Jesse took the first huge leap into becoming his true self and began taking testosterone. As his family, we have witnessed his evolution from someone reserved and reticent to a dynamic, confident man. It's hard to express the joy and pride we feel to see him bravely seizing onto his true self.
Jesse has the love and support of his family and friends. We're asking you to help him to fully realize himself, to show him that all of the struggles and heartaches have been worth it, and to be a part of his journey of self discovery.
Thank you! With love,
The Ellis Family