I am 21 years old, am originally from Kansas, and live in Brooklyn. I am an artist, a musician, a dedicated student, and a fierce activist. I am also transitioning from female to male.
For those of you who are curious, I have known that I am transgender for a while now. The first conscious thoughts about it were around when I was 15 years old. I kept it to myself. To my small community/activist family, I have been semi-out and going by 'he' and 'him' pronouns for about two years now. About two months ago, I came out to my immediate family. They have been supportive and loving, and are trying their best to adapt to the changes. Even more recently, I came out publicly to all of my friends via Facebook. It was the scariest thing I have ever done and have lost a few friends already, but the relief that comes from being out and being proud to be myself as been worth it.
The gender dysphoria that comes with being transgender has been hard to deal with. Every day is a struggle. Sometimes I am too afraid to even leave my house. I fall into depressions and suffer panic attacks. Right now I am taking a year off of school (I would be in my junior year) because the emotional anguish of my dysphoria became too much, among other things that are going on in my life.
That's why I have decided to transition. While many people believe that being transgender but not transitioning is the easy choice, it is not (for me anyway). There is no easy choice. I can choose to live in a body that I love but I don't feel is mine and struggle every day with intense dysphoria, or I can come out and take the steps to transition into a body I am in comfortable in. For the sake of my long-term happiness, and after a lot of painful deliberation, I have chosen the latter.
Here's where I need your help. I am soon starting up hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during which I will take testosterone. This will relieve a big chunk of my gender dysphoria, but the other important step I wish to take is to undergo top surgery. This means that my chest will be reconstructed into a "male" chest. However, this surgery is very expensive and I am a college student who has very little funds. Ideally, I'd like to get this surgery before I go back to school in Fall 2014 so I can start fresh without the worry of gender dysphoria or "passing" as a guy hanging over my head as much. School is very important to me and I want to do my absolute best.
The costs of getting this surgery include: the estimated cost of the surgery itself and hospital fees ($6,900); estimated airfare and hotel costs for my partner and I, as she will be taking care of me after the surgery ($1,300); estimated cab-fare to and from the airport, the hospital (for the surgery and routine check-ups in the following week), and the hotel ($300); and missed pay from the 6 weeks I will have to take off of work ($1,800). As you can see, the costs are staggering and impossible for me to make by myself, as I entirely support myself financially and I am a student with a low wage job.
Even just a few bucks would help me out immensely! If you can't give, I would greatly appreciate it if you could at least share my page. :) Thanks!
If you want to follow my transition and receive updates (like how my surgery went!), you can follow my blog here, email me for an update, or follow my new YouTube channel (there will be videos to come, I promise). I'll also post updates on here.
Please help me get the word about my fundraiser out there! I can only do this with the help, love, and support of other people. Even if you only give me five bucks, you will be helping me take the steps to become a truer version of myself.
You will be changing my life!
Thank you to everyone who has and will support me, in all the various ways that you do. :)
Peace love and light,
You can check out an article in which myself and other transgender people of color give our thoughts on what love means here: http://interruptmag.com/?p=1476
I'm going to try to get out all of the rewards for y'all by the end of 2014!
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- Adelaida Shelley
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