Hey everyone! As you may already know, my name is Micah (Mai Liên) Dombroe, and I'm your friendly neighborhood nonbinary transperson. Below, I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself, my gender journey thus far, the gender-confirming medical treatments I'm pursuing, and the goals I have for my future. I grew up in suburban Brookfield, WI, alongside my younger sister. My mother, who was a cosmetologist, held rigid ideals about feminine presentation, from hairlessness to body weight to skin complexion, which were enforced in our household day-to-day. These early memories are some of the first in which I started questioning my gender, although at the time I didn’t quite have the words to describe what I was feeling. As I grew older, I continued to have dissonance over being assigned "female", and the adult years of my life have been about reclaiming agency over my gender identity and expression. In 2014, I moved to Madison to study Pharmacology and Toxicology, which I hope will lead to a career in research where I can improve the lives of others, and help make STEM workplaces more LGBTQ+ invlusive. I've been dreaming about having top surgery since I hit puberty, and I finally have an opportunity to make that dream a reality, which is humbling and incredible. However, as a student living paycheck to paycheck, working as much as I can but still struggling to make rent, I don't have nearly enough funds to do this on my own. My ability to pursue medical transition depends upon my ability to meet this goal, and would mean so much: top surgery would finally let me have comfortable swimming and running back, and and would allow me to forgo the difficulty and sometimes impossibility of binding in certain situations. Hormone replacement therapy means important changes to my body and voice- steps toward being who I want to be, and seeing myself as I really am. These changes would allow me to navigate academic/work spaces with more confidence, and continue to work toward making classroom and professional spaces more trans inclusive. If it's impossible for you to contrubute monetarily but still want to reach out, I would be so grateful for any emotional support during this time. Thanks to all of my loved ones, to the queer community of Madison, to my chosen family, and to the people who have loved and supported me on my path. I'm only just beginning my journey, and I couldn't have taken my first steps without their encouragement and validation. Please be on the lookout for fundraising events I'll be holding, to which you will be invited for food, fun, and community! _______________________ UPDATE: Thank to you all, I was able to raise $1,246 by the Feb 14th deadline to enrol in SHIP, and have been able to start HRT! I couldn't be more humbled and filled with gratitude for all of your love and support. The remaining goal will go to funds I am allocating to obtaining top surgery, a procedure for which many people typically pay $7,000-$12,000 for out-of-pocket. SHIP covers up to 80% of in-network top-surgeons, which means ~$3,600 will come out-of-pocket, and SHIP will cover the rest. If I can meet my goal before my coverage ends this August, I should be able to have had top surgery by the end of the summer and be receuperated by the Fall semester of 2018. This all feels so unreal and like a dream come true, so thank you, thank you, thank you.