This campaign is a joyful welcoming of friends and family to become participants in my journey of becoming myself as I transition into a male-bodied person.
The money donated here will allow me to undergo top-surgery, which is a gender-affirming surgery, so that I will be able to fully embody Finnegan Menzies.
Who is Finn?
Finnegan Roze Menzies. He is a kinderagarten teacher by day, and a poet by night. He will be a good father. Right now he is out in the backyard, trimming and watering the flowers with care, black soil getting into his fingernails. He's tan and barechested, running off the dock into the lake. At night, he reads poetry and does push-ups by candlelight. He loves his sweetheart mightily and tenderly. He isn't afraid to dance. Bobby Kennedy comes to mind: button nosed, and floppy haired. He is impulsive, but also sensitive. He loves his mom. He wants to live in the country and be an active member of the community, by giving queer families a safe and healthy place to drop their kids off at school.
Why this Campaign?
You will be helping me become who I am. You will stand by the idea that we all deserve the right to be in a body that belongs to us.
You will be an important part in supporting a young teacher become the kind of teacher all kids deserve.
When I realized that my physical transition could offer a place for gender-variant children to feel seen and supported, I immediately called my surgeon to book a consultation. Then, just this month, during a parent conference meeting, a mother of one of my students told me that her husband had come out as a transgender person, and she was so glad that she felt safe to tell me. In that moment, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
It’s taken me a long time to get here. I always knew that I was a boy inside a girl’s body. However, by the time I had a name to call this experience, I had already been subject to the ugliness of sexism, and to the ways in which gender, race, and socio-economic status all support a society that condones oppression. Then, the question of “manhood” became more complicated. If I want to teach all children to be generous, aware, feminists, can I really be a man? I know now, after many years of self inquiry, meditation, therapy, and dialogue, that I have been a man and a feminist all along, and there is no separation or contradiction in my identity.
This knowing of both genders, gives me full confidence that I can be the example of manhood/masculinity that doesn’t use power over others in order to make itself known. I could express a masculinity that is supportive, loving, aware and attentive, and courageous. But, I need the body to do so, because one of the virtues I want to uphold is authenticity.
Right now, I live in between the lines of authenticity because I do not inhabit what I feel is inherently mine. I see my physical transition as both a personal right, but also as one voice in the LGBTQ movement towards equality. If I can be an out Transgender man AND be a preschool teacher, I can show my community that, one: there is nothing to fear about Transgender people, and two: there is nothing to fear about male preschool teachers, because being male can mean many different things. Being transgender can also mean many different things.
I can’t wait to get surgery, so that I can start on the physical, spiritual, and political path that I have always known I was meant to walk. I want to be the kind of teacher that changes lives. I know I can change lives if I can be honest about who I am, the struggles I face, and lend a hand to other children and families who need me. I want to open my own school where queer families know they are safe and can be seen.