My name is Corey, and I'm a 29 year old transgender man who is finally --FINALLY-- getting top surgery on January 11th, 2019. I live in Boston, MA and work as a produce supervisor for a grocery store, which is a super fun job but not exactly a lucrative one, lol. I've been on hormones for two and a half years now, have changed my name, have changed my gender marker on my license, and I am absolutely THRILLED to finally be getting the one thing I've known I've wanted since I was twelve years old. For those who may not know, top surgery encompasses a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to give me a male chest. The type of surgery I am receiving is double incision, so it's gonna come with scarring, but will be very worth it.
I don't feel comfortable asking people for help. I feel extremely guilty for asking people for help monetarily, because I know everyone is struggling and could use that money for something else. However, out of everything in my life, this is the one time I WILL ask, and I want to take a moment to talk about something I'm usually not really open about that I think will explain why.
My body dysphoria surrounding this particular surgery is severe. I have been suicidal twice in my life, and both times were directly related to my gender but more specifically with how uncomfortable not having a male chest made me feel. I don't know if people understand how bad dysphoria impacts a person's life, particularly once you've been on hormones for a long time; the anxiety of whether or not your binder is visible, or fitting right, or even doing it's job; whether or not someone will notice when you're just trying to use the bathroom and potentially hurt you because of it; the inability to go swimming for the last five years of my life; not being able to wear tank tops despite the absolutely miserable heat waves that have come and gone; not being able to go to the gym because working out in a binder isn't safe but neither is being a guy in a bra; not being able to leave my room in a shared home without having to put on a binder for fear of being judged or outted to strangers who might be visiting. And all of that is just the practical side, which doesn't include how mentally jarring it is to have something on your body that doesn't belong there, something that makes you feel sick to your stomach just to think about at times let alone have to see in the mirror every day, and the anxiety and sense of helplessness that ends up coloring everything from public interactions at work to comfort level with intimacy with romantic partners.
It's been a long, long road. I'm proud to still be alive and kicking after everything I've endured and continue to endure. I feel like I'm finally seeing the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel, and it is so, SO relieving. I can't even begin to put that feeling into words. I need this surgery to survive. It is a medical necessity to my health and well-being.
In terms of cost, I am extremely lucky that my insurance is going to cover basically everything except my deductible and the out-of-pocket fee the surgeon charges. I'm supremely grateful for that, and I know how rare that is for other trans people. However those costs are still more than I can afford. Notably, I need $1,500 at least two weeks prior to my surgery date to have it paid off and for them to proceed.
As I'm sure you can also guess, this surgery will put me out of commission for a couple of weeks in terms of work too, so I will also need money to live off of and pay my bills. I'm hoping to get at least $2,000 total, but in all honesty, I could really use more than that. This is more of a bare minimum to keep me going.
If you've made it this far reading, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me, for sticking with me through the hardest but BEST part of my life, and more than anything, for continuing to love me for who I am and always have been. Thank you for listening. Thank you for challenging yourselves to learn in order to be there for me. Thank you for loving me. And if you can donate something, even if it's something small, I can promise you it will feel like you've given me the world just to know you were willing to give me anything at all.
I can't wait to finally just exist and feel at peace. Corey 2.0, coming to you winter of 2019.
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