I've started this GoFundMe campaign because it concerns an issue that's very close to my heart: Vivian McNaughton, who has been my close friend for a number of years and with whom I've been through a lot, is currently transitioning from male to female. She came out to me in February and has since been coming out to others in her life. The coming-out process is difficult, but paying for her gender reassignment surgery will be even more so. This is why I have set up this GoFundMe with Vivian's consent -- she needs your help.
Vivian was raised as Jacob McNaughton in Bloomington, MN. She recalls looking in the mirror as a child and being shocked by the reminder of who she was and what sort of body she was inhabiting. She began to read a lot of comics and fiction about men with the fantastical ability to transform into women. Although she was high-achieving and well loved by her family, she was frequently bullied at school and retreated into video games as a form of escapism, a coping tactic she would continue with well into her early adulthood.
I first met Vivian in 2011, when we were both performing stand-up comedy at Carleton College. We had both been involved with the stand-up and improv comedy groups on campus, and evidently shared a love of funny things. In 2012, we began a relationship that lasted until I was a little over halfway into my first year of grad school. We remained friends after the breakup, and Vivian's dysphoria-related depression became more pronounced: she was finding it increasingly difficult to complete her coursework, keep up with her extracurriculars, and in some cases to even leave her room. She finally came out to me this February, and her relief was considerable. She has decided to leave Carleton and find a job to help finance her transition.
As a college student, Vivian does not have the resources to afford the transition that is absolutely crucial to her mental health. The average transition process costs somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000; we are asking for $10,000 to help begin the process while Vivian finds suitable employment to pay for the rest. Anything you can give would be much appreciated!
Cost Breakdown For Vivian, by Vivian:
Gender therapist: $30 an appointment for approximately 8 more appointments.
Hair Removal: Facial and body hair removal for trans women is a long process. It involves an estimated 200-300 hours of electrolysis over a period of several years. For reference, Permanent Choice hair removal center in Minneapolis charges $75 per hour, coming to an estimated $15,000--$22,500. This cost is spread out over a course of many years, but the starting period of electrolysis is the most involved, with up to 5 hours a week being common.
Hormones: With insurance, hormone therapy--both the related doctor's visits & the hormones themselves--can cost approximately a $1000 dollars a year. When I contacted my insurance company, they said they would cover such services if they deem it "medically necessary," which is uncomfortably vague but optimistic. My therapist can help demonstrate this necessity
Therapy, hair removal, and hormone treatment therapy are my next steps for transitioning, and I would deeply appreciate any help in achieving these goals. All money I receive through this gofund.me will go towards my transition, and if I am fortunate enough to receive more funds than I need for these initial steps I will save them for future surgery."
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