Hi everyone! I am resurrecting this campaign again now because I have a surgeon in place and a total amount I need to raise. I raised $2,065 about two years ago for my surgery through this campaign. Now I need to raise another $1,935 and I'll be good to go! But I have to raise most of that before I can schedule the surgery, which can hopefully happen in late May or early June.
Below is a portion of my story I've written to share with you all. Please read if you'd like. Thank you for your time and consideration <3
- Lane Hunter
Being transgender is such a long journey of intense self-discovery, and everyone's journey is different, just like everyone's journey in life is different.
I remember being a little girl, my long light brown hair usually held up by a thick white headband, wearing cutesy dresses and feeling pretty. Wearing dresses felt fun when I was young. I believe in the recycling of souls into human bodies, the concept of reincarnation, and I believe in my most previous life I was a male, possibly gay, who really wanted to wear dresses. As a young child, I was thrilled to wear them. This faded when I reached 8 or 9, after having to wear a jumper to school every day kindergarten through 3rd grade. Pants and shorts are just much easier and more convenient, frankly.
I remember one day when I was about 4, probably a Saturday, I looked up at my dad and said to him "I want to be a boy."
He looked down at me, paused, and said "tough luck."
In that moment, that was enough for me. I remember thinking something like "Right. Tough luck. I guess I'll just try to be good at being a girl," and so I tried my best. I kept wearing dresses. I didn't avoid pink, even though I somehow felt like I should. I wore what my parents wanted me to wear, trying to maintain an image that they had a happy, healthy daughter. And possibly the saddest part is that for a while, I even convinced myself.
In hindsight, I am thankful for the ignorance I had when I was young. Had I known from age 4 what I know today, that I am transgender, and that someday I will be able to alter my body to become the person I was born to be, I would have been completely and utterly miserable. I would have lived for 14 years in a house with my parents who have never supported me being anything other than a cisgender, heterosexual woman, born to have a husband and become a mother. They still see me that way. Had I known from age 4 about transgender people, yet still grown up with the people I did and under the circumstances I did, I would be shocked if I hadn't killed myself. It's no wonder the attempted suicide rate of transgender people is so high.
I am the only child of a very overprotective mother with no sense of personal boundaries. I had no privacy growing up in my parents' house. I wasn't aware of how overprotective she was until I was in middle school and really started to compare myself to the kids around me. When my friends were getting cell phones and making social media profiles, I was living in constant fear of my mother. She was always questioning me about my friendships with girls. My mother took my cell phone every night and read all my text messages. I had to put it away at 9pm on school nights and 10pm on weekends, and then she would spend hours reading my messages. I would sift through the messages beforehand every night, deleting those that she might read and think I had feelings for a female friend, but making sure it still made sense in context. Piecing together fragments of conversations to make new, completely platonic/heterosexual ones. I have always preferred women romantically, and my mom could always tell. She pushed me toward every male friend I ever had, trying to make me like them. But instead, I continually fell for my best female friends, and sometimes they would return those feelings.
When you're young and gay and only frequent places you're not allowed to be gay, life is really hard. When you find one other person who shares that secret, you cling to them. You cling to each other. Teenagers have raging hormones and dramatic relationships as it is... but when you add in a big secret, you create codependency and toxicity. I fell for my best friend at Mt. Paran Christian School, and she returned those feelings. All we had was each other. We created an incredibly toxic and codependent relationship, and it ended really, really badly, as those often do. Imagine a world where we had role models of gay relationships and didn't have to keep our feelings for each other a secret. None of our drama had to happen. It happened because of our cold, close-minded environment - because we were forced to keep our love in hiding.
My relationship at that school ended when the school was notified of it by her parents. My mom snatched my phone out of my hands before I'd had a chance to delete my messages. She read my messages and called the other girl's parents. Her parents called the school. The school told me I had to leave because I was "older and should have known better." She got to stay. I was uprooted from the school I'd been to 4th-11th grade - 2 weeks of 11th grade, anyway. At this point, my parents were choosing a new school for me. They wouldn't send me to the local public school (Marietta High School) because "there's temptation there." They sent me to North Cobb Christian School.
But first. They locked me in my room for 2 weeks while deciding where I'd go next. Granted, I was too depressed to get out of bed anyway, but I had nowhere to go. They took all my electronics, every way I could communicate with anyone that was not the two of them, and left me in my room "to think about what I'd done." It was essentially solitary confinement. I cried all day every day for two weeks straight. The first week, I didn't eat anything. The second week, I could keep down things like crackers and blueberries, but aside from that, I couldn't eat. I was a complete mess. It was my first heartbreak, and it was accompanied by intense grief. It was like my significant other had suddenly died. Except she was alive, but I couldn't speak to her. She was the keeper of all my secrets. She was the only one I could be myself with. And she was suddenly gone, leaving a massive hole. It took me months to recover, to remember who I was... to find anything that brought me joy again. Another person ended up bringing me joy again, leading me down a similarly terrible path to a toxic, codependent relationship that would eventually have me removed from the school. Again. It was the same situation, almost exactly. Except this time when I got kicked out, it wasn't that I should have known better because I was older, it was that NCCS knew what had happened at MPCS and kicked me out because "you did this again." "We hope you can learn from this experience."
Just imagine if I had been allowed to be me. If I had been allowed to want to be a boy when I was 4. If I had been allowed to be a sweet and lovey teenager and fall in love with my best friends who happened to be girls. Imagine that I had grown up being told that love is a beautiful, wonderful thing, the best part of the human experience. Instead, the love I so naturally felt was seen as evil, disgusting, and wrong, as was the way I wished to express myself physically.
I've come so far in my journey. I am proud of the person I am today. I deserve to be angry at what I've been through. I have been discriminated against... a lot. But I've worked on myself and I've released so much pent up anger and bitterness I used to hold in my heart. My heart has been through so much in its 24 years, but it is pure and loving and open.
The next step for my journey is to fix my chest so that by our societal standards, I can be shirtless in public without it being some kind of "statement." I also would really love to not wear compression chest binders anymore. Singing in these is pretty difficult...
I don't know where I'll go next in life, but what I do know is that this is a road block and I am so close to overcoming it. If you have money to spare, please consider donating to my cause. I know I can raise this money quickly if everyone just pitches in even a little bit. I have 1500 Facebook friends. If 100 of them contribute as little as $5 each, I'm more than 25% of the way to the goal.
Thanks again for reading my story. Love to all of you <3
- Lane Hunter
DonationsSee top donations
- Alyssa Jones
- Becky England
- Claire Ousey
#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