Hello! My name is Jess but my birth name is actually Thuan Justin, and I am a 20 year old transgender MTF. I am organizing this fundraiser to help fund my transition (specifically hormonal replacement therapy, SRS surgery MTF, Adam's apple reduction surgery, and other feminine facial surgeries).
I started experiencing gender dysphoria 3 years when I was 17, and it slowly grew into depression over the course of the 1st year.
I come from a Vietnamese family household, and my family's cultural views aren't very accepting of LGBTQs. It was very hard living with myself during that year. My sister went up north for college and lived 8 hours away, and my parents were divorced. My dad would always be working, and my grandparents were too old to understand, so naturally only me and my mom were close. I would hint towards my mom and ask her questions from time to time like "What if I wanted to be a girl?"; "What do you think about that?"; "Would you still love me?" I would ask these questions in a playful manner so my mom would think I was just joking, and normally her response would be: "Stop asking ridiculous questions." One day however she responded seriously and said "I gave birth to a boy. You are my son. If you think otherwise then you are not my child." This really broke my heart.
I only stayed in my room at the house, and felt disconnected with my family. I didn't have family, but I had some LGBTQ friends who supported me. My best friend's sister had a wedding and my friend had this crazy idea for me to go all out and dress up for it. We bought a wig, and she helped me with makeup, shoes, and lent me one of her dresses to wear. Everyone was super nice and supportive at the wedding, most of whom I've never met before. I've never felt so alive and was for once happy with myself in a long time.
Of course this happiness would soon fade away as I took everything off to come back home, feeling trapped inside my own household.
My depression started getting worse and worse. I fell into a really dark place and started having suicidal thoughts. I starved myself and quickly lost a lot of weight. I went from 118lb to 94lb. I'm 5'6 and a half or 167cm so I was basically only skin and bones at this point. This was when my family started to notice. I eventually confessed about my depression and my mom would seek help for me.
I was diagnosed with severe depression and had help from Western Youth Services. I talked to one therapist every week and had another one visit our home every few days; she would do activities with me, and catch my mom up on my progress or any concerns. I was put on antidepressants. Eventually I came out to my therapist, and we slowly worked towards letting my mom know. Apparently she always had an idea at the back of her mind raising me, but she thought it was just a curiosity phase. For example I always wanted long hair as a kid/teenager but my mom would never let me; I enjoyed pretty things and often bought girl clothes and girl shoes. After seeing my full skeletal figure, she realized the pain I was going through and did not want to lose her child. We came to an agreement that I would finish my undergrad studies first before allowing me to undergo any changes. I continued those therapy sessions and antidepressants for another 2 years until I was better. My family finally accepted me.
Fast forward to now, I can slowly feel myself slipping away. I've lost a lot of motivation for school and haven't gone out with friends in over a year. I don't feel like myself, and I don't think I can wait any longer. I've talked to my mom, and she thinks it's best for me the sooner I get to live my life the way I want. I want to finally transition and find comfort in my own skin.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story and to anyone who shares or donates to my fundraiser. Your support means the world to me. If one day I'm able to live my dreams and present myself with confidence and self-love, it would all be only possible thanks to you!
- Kenny Diep
- Minsoo Lee
- Garrett Chang
- John Nguyen
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more