Kristen's Surgery Fund

It's not easy for me to openly admit that I feel like dying. Every day, the simplest tasks feel all-but-impossible for me to complete; every moment that passes by feels more akin to suffocation rather than mere existence.

In my 31 years, I've gotten very good at hiding how I really feel. I've gotten very good at outwardly presenting the version of myself that friends and family know: empathetic, kind, funny, generous, genuine. Those qualities still live within me but, lately, have been exceedingly difficult to get even close to.

At my best, I know being trans is something to be proud of, something that provides me with a mind-opening, worldview-altering experience exclusive to those of us lucky enough to live through it. At my worst, everything seems futile: the hard work, the determination, the perseverance, all I've survived through.

The terrible part is that the only way to alleviate this pain is by undergoing procedures that cost an obscene amount of money and are, ludicrously, not covered by most insurance plans—including mine. If I had money, I could get all of my surgeries done and, sure, still deal with whatever bigotry or harassment may come my way at that point, but waking up would no longer be a physically taxing endeavor. I would finally be able to look in the mirror and see myself clearly, finally able to leave my house with confidence for the first time, rather than crippling fear or debilitating anxiety.

As of today, I don't have the energy to continue not asking for help. The amount of financial assistance I require is horrifying, and something that actively humiliates me to have to ask for, but, at this point, it's either I do it or I die.

If you've made it this far, all I can say is "Thank you." Whatever you can contribute—monetarily, or simply sharing the page—means more than I can possibly say. Just know that you're actively helping to save my life.

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Kristen Kelley Rand
Brooklyn, NY

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