At a Modern Louisville release party, Jamie introduced herself to Jay. Jay had a feature story written about him and his recent transition as a trans man. Jamie, herself a trans woman, introduced herself. Shortly after the two met again at Chill Bar Highlands, recently voted the #20 gay bar in the nation. From there the two fell madly in love.
Sometime later, in September of 2016, after lots of discussion and planning, something magical happened – Jay and Jamie became pregnant with a little bundle of joy. The couple had discussed having a child and Jay had gone off his hormones to be able to do so. Doctors said in 12 – 18 months he could become pregnant – turns out it happened in 3 months. “Not going to lie it completely overwhelmed me. I was expecting more time to prepare. It just didn't happen that way,” Jay recalls.
With a dual-income household, the two expected the pregnancy to have its difficulties, but to be manageable. However, a number of unexpected things occurred to make things extra difficult. Jay was not emotionally prepared for the physical changes pregnancy brought, especially after having just recently transitioned. Morning sickness occurred nearly every day until little Dorian was born, which led to Jay’s hours being cut at work and also to doctor-ordered rest. Lastly, Jay got kidney stones, and due to being pregnant, underwent a modified surgery to remove them. With this whirlwind of struggles, two incomes eventually moved to one income - Jamie worked hard to support the family as Jay worked as much as he could while also taking care of his own body and their unborn baby. Dorian was born on April 24th 2016. He was 10 weeks early, and very premature. Today he is doing very well, home and healthy with his mom and dad.
As life returned to normal, financial realities began to set in. “The major financial stress,” says Jamie, “was due to all the medical visits, surgeries, and rest-times prescribed by the doctors. Things fell behind as I was the only one working. I worked as much as I could, and we lived and paid everything from just my income. I work hard for the money but it just wasn't cutting it honey. The only major thing that thing that suffered was the rent.”
Jay and Jamie’s landlord has been wonderfully understanding and supportive of them in their journey to parenthood, and understanding of how and why they fell behind on their rent. However, even with this wonderful flexibility, at some point the rent comes due. Jay and Jamie are now back on-schedule with rent payments, as they’re both working again. However, the five months of missed rent-payments now amounts to $2500, and it’s due August 1st. And this is why we need you.
Jay and Jamie had the courage to allow their own vulnerability to be seen, and they asked for help. On May 17th they reached out to Harrison Martin, Nicholas Moore, and Ryan Phillips, all active members of Louisville’s LGBTQ+ community. “When anyone in our community needs help with anything, there's always several arms reaching out to help and support you. We are a family and its feels like one,” says Jay courageously.
Today, Harrison, Ryan, and Nicholas are reaching out to our community’s open arms on Jay & Jamie’s behalf. We are calling to you to support our fundraising campaign, “They Are Us”. Life happens, and often times in ways we don’t expect. Throw getting pregnant into the mix, and things really happen in ways you don’t expect. Throw getting pregnant after recently transitioning in there and having consistent medical complications during your pregnancy, and things really really happen in ways you don’t expect! Needless to say, your pocketbook can take a hit. We want to help Jay & Jamie take care of this rent bill, and with your help, we can do it.
So we’re asking you, our strong and passionate Louisville LGBTQ+ community, to help us help Jay & Jamie. They’ve helped us, spreading camaraderie and love as members of the Derby City Bears and Derby City Sisters, as powerful voices at Louisville’s annual Trans Awareness United As One event, as smiling, welcoming faces at Chill Bar after a long week, and as so much more. If just twenty-five people gave $100, the fundraiser would be over in one day. Surely with the power and passion of our community, backed with the strength of social media and this digital platform, we can accomplish this together. Jay & Jamie have been there for us – now let’s be there for them, because they are us.
With your help we can help write the happy ending for this story of Louisville’s LGBTQ+ community, its families, and show everyone what Pride Month is really about. As the fundraiser is planned to continue annually for an LGBTQ+ family in need, you can help us kick off our inaugural campaign with success!