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aris' ffs facial revision, ffs! (mtf)

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hello! my name is Aristilde Kirby. I'm a poet, an artist, a lot more & I desperately need your help.
I need facial feminization surgery. I plan to see acclaimed plastic surgeon Edmund Kwan in Flushing Queens, NYC.
I'm a black woman of the trans experience & I've been medically transitioning for eight years. My face has always been my greatest hang-up. For years, my face has been the point of contention for me, more than my genitals (I've had an orchiectomy thus far, & am fortunate to live in NY, where vaginoplasty is covered if I choose by insurance) & voice. I have the fortune of favoring my mother in regards to it, but being born male as it were has made it so that the subtleties present (a wide jaw, my chin, & my cheeks) are overpowering enough for me to be read as such commonly. As I proceed into my 30s, my last arguably youthful decade, after having the fortune enough to have done this for a third of my life now, I figure I should try to make the push to make this major step happen. I don't think I'll have some big come up in the next five years so I can say I did it alone, as I would want to.
If it isn't the general dysphoria I've internalized to function due to work & general life, of being read as male due to the clothes I wear a lot of the time, I dress admittedly tomboyish for the most part, & my voice that, even with training I've done can still fairly deep, then it's people telling me: Aris, you look beautiful already. You don't need surgery!
I appreciate the compliment, but being between these two poles is a stinging consciousness trap & I've been in for these eight years. It's infected & been festering.  Always second guessing myself, always looking for the most flattering angle in a picture to take away from said features, always feeling ehh kinda maybe around there, but not good enough.

I don't mind at all that I'm tall, & as far as clothing choices in regards to women, we've long been beyond the binary. For the record, I love a good dress & heels. My voice can be changed, but I can live with its general deepness. & as far as transition goals, I feel almost in equilibrium with who I've felt aligned to be since I was a child.
I can almost accept that we live in the world we do & that people will always be looking for something to pick out. Even the concept of "passing" is something of contention regarding the continued acceptance & massaging of what it means to be non-binary & of custom gender in Western culture & into the world. But this matter of my face has been really bothering me, on a deeper level far more than anything else. I consider my personal air of feminity as forged from within more than without. My visibility as being born as I was & being trans is something that, in this age, means I can't make totally stealth happen, nor do I want to. I am who I am, no matter what & when. I have a history as a human being & I'm at the point where I'm no longer ashamed or stressed about previous incarnations. I'm just like: "wow, I used to look like that"
That being said, this face needs work for the good of my spirit. When I saw Dr. Kwan, he told me that I "didn't need very much work," well, the bill is a lot of money ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
I was told that:
~ a jaw reduction would cost $12,000
~ a chin implant would cost $5,000
~ lipo from my neck is $3,000
~ & to take that fat & put it in my cheek is $3,000.
If it's all done at once, it's $18,000. If piecemeal, $23,000.
So, I'm going to aim for the former. That's a lot of work to me!
I'll be straight up, it's been a rough two years for us all, no doubt. But, even before my transition, my adult life has been extremely challenging on every level. I've been homeless in & after undergrad. I've previously did two emergency fundraisers to save myself from eviction in the past. To even do those was really agonizing, & I had to deal with the depression of having to ask & the stress of being actively housing insecure & continuing to need to ask. It's truly always been hard for me to ask for help. I've always felt like, if I couldn't do it alone, then no one would help me & that I should be ashamed to even ask. To do this exacerbated my clinical depression.
That said, we've had that under control for a hot minute. I'm not from money, & I work service or warehouse jobs to make limited ends meet. Though it's been a genuinely tumultuous period for me, I had to work at Amazon, FedEx, UPS, make ends meet post-grad. & this post-graduate depression, my dude, has it been a supremely studded doozy! I've struggled & even been at some points subtly & outright antagonized all throughout grad school. More on that later.
I'm no longer ashamed to ask for help, because I know this is necessary for me. For now, I live in Hudson, NY, a community that has supported me for years, but I'll be moving to NYC this year, where I'll be able to grow more optimally. I'm not asking for money to help me move, don't worry. & I plan on working & putting away money towards this too, while I reroot, eventually. & I'll be sure to have something stashed away while I'm laid up looking like ol girl from Le Visage Sans Yeux for two weeks.
We might just do an event or two? Make a shirt or something? I'm figuring it out as we go. But I need to put it out there. & this is a long game matter for me, so I'm all hands on deck for this.
In a sense, I'm on pace to be in a truly assured place in my life, one of exponential growth. change. Maybe stability? Girl, one could hope. & I really need this to be a part of that change. If my journey is any evidence, to have confidence in yourself means having the will to live.
So yeah, I'm begging you. Thanks for reading, considering, sharing, & being a part of my life in whatever good way.


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Aristilde Kirby
Hudson, NY

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