I first met Tyler when we were in fifth grade and right away, I could see what a sweet, lovable, silly kid he was. Since then, six years have passed and that still holds true--I can't think of a single mean or cruel thing he's done and he lights up the room wherever he goes; in fact, I can't help but smile whenever I see him. Without fail, he always manages to make me laugh and having him as a friend has brightened my life more than I can express in words.
Despite the incredible person that he is, not everyone is willing to support him: his mother has continued to use his dead-name, sent him to a religious camp to "correct" his gender identity, repeatedly thrown away his binders, refuses to acknowledge his gender dysphoria, and is planning on disowning him for it. Although I'm certain that she loves him very much, she won't help him cope with his dysphoria, leaving him trapped in a body that he doesn't belong in.
2019 was an especially difficult year for Tyler, as he had to cope with conflict, loss, and grief. It breaks my heart to see him suffering, especially since he has put so much love and kindness into the world. In the hopes that that love and kindness would come back around to him, I decided to start this campaign: my goal is to help Tyler cope with the dysphoria he feels by making treatment more financially accessible to him. Unfortunately, hormone therapy and FTM gender-reassignment surgery can be extremely costly, and though I don't expect to be able to fully fund surgery, I'd like to help make it a possibility for Tyler, since I know that his mother is unwilling to help pay for it.
That's where you come in: every donation, big or small, makes a difference. Whether it be a single dollar or twenty dollars, all of it helps get Tyler one step closer to the happiness that he deserves. Having said that, I understand that not everyone is able to donate, but that doesn't mean that you can't help! Please share this campaign with your friends, family, co-workers, and social media to help spread the word so Tyler is able to get more support--it only takes a few clicks, and it would mean the world to Tyler, his loved ones, and myself.
By the time that Tyler turns 18, in April of 2021, I hope that all of us will have contributed to making Tyler's future brighter. You all will have my endless gratitude for helping me to make Tyler as happy as he makes me and everyone else around him. Truly, all I want is to see him smile and for him to feel at home in his own body. Thank you so much for any and all of your support, whether it be through donating or by spreading the word!
- Cristina Polenica
- Hyun Jeong
- Ken Hodgkiss