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The Breast is History

$3,921 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 12 months
Hi Everyone!

My name is Sterling Bentley. I'm a southern trans man with aspirations of changing the world through everyday conversations, getting my doctorate in Sociology of Law and Policy, and by living as authentically as I can. 

I grew up in a very small town in Western North Carolina where I didn't know that being queer and/or trans were even things you could be. I would come to learn and love being both queer and trans despite many obstacles and internalized homo/transphobia.  My family was deeply and conservatively religious. I was privileged enough to attend undergraduate school and have the opportunity to study gender and sexuality both academically and personally.  This helped me better understand myself and the world around me. A year after being the first person in my family to graduate from a four year university (2016), I started hormones and I moved across the state to distance myself from the emotional trauma and abuse I experienced at the hands of my family. I was outed to my family by a stranger this past fall (2017). My family has since kicked me off of their health insurance. As you may know,health care for trans folks is already difficult to come by with insurance but without it, it's almost impossible to afford the care you need.

I work as a full-time  manager for an amazing and affirming small local business in the Triangle who unfortunately are unable to offer employee healthcare insurance. I have recently been feeling like I am at a crossroads where I will have to choose between getting a graduate education and having top surgery/maintaining hormone treatments. I want to make the world a more just and empathetic place for everyone. In order to do that most effectively, I need/want a doctorate degree. In order to get the most out of graduate school, I need my mind, body, and soul to align. 

I am working on enrolling into healthcare plans with low premiums,decent deductibles, and most importantly those that most often cover gender- affirming surgeries. However, even if I am able to get healthcare insurance I will still need to come up with several thousand dollars up front in order to even schedule top surgery. 

I need your help to make this goal possible. Please consider donating to my fundraiser for gender-affirming surgery. It is my singular hope to make y'all proud. 




In solidarity, 

Sterling Bentley
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Hey yall!

I have no words to adequately say thank you for your continued support. I want to update you all on where I am, what I have been doing, and give you a bit of a timeline for surgery.

As of right now, I have roughly ¾ of the upfront cost ($3,675) that will need to be paid prior to surgery. I never thought I would be remotely close to this point. I am astounded by the love and generosity you all have shown to me. I had my first surgery consultation this past Tuesday with Dr. MacPhee. She was so informative and answered most of my questions before I had even asked them. One thing I was expecting to hear that has both pros and cons is that I need to wait to see how much more my body is going to change before having surgery. I have lost ~50 lbs in the past two years, in no small part due to being able to live more authentically. I am continuing to lose weight and if I had surgery soon I would inevitably have to come back for revisions because of the extra skin that would develop from weight loss. While I want the best results possible, it stinks to think about having to wait one second longer without having surgery. I have a check in appointment in late September to see where I am and to hopefully put a deposit down for a surgery date. In the meantime, I have set out a new and more intense workout regime and protein and greens centric diet to physically prepare for surgery. I plan to set up another open mic fundraiser in the coming months to secure the remainder of the upfront cost. I will then begin working towards obtaining the remainder of costs ($4,500) with the recent threats to healthcare accessibility by our current administration, I am nervous that I may not be able to get surgery costs covered by insurance.

Speaking of healthcare accessibility, I am so proud to be working as an Equality NC Rural Youth Empowerment Fellow to increase access to healthcare for trans and GNC folks in NC. During this year long fellowship we are given opportunities to build leadership and organizing skills while working towards a project of our choosing. My project involves equipping trans and GNC patients with knowledge to better advocate for themselves in a medical setting, as well as implement cultural competency trainings so that healthcare professionals can provide more affirming care.
I tell you this not to brag but to let you know that your money is going towards the betterment of not just myself but countless others in the queer and trans communities.

I need your help in fighting towards a more just world and a more authentic life. Anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Feel free to share in any circles you feel appropriate.

In Solidarity,
Sterling
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Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a smooth start to your new year. I have some exciting news to share with you. I have taken the leap and scheduled a top surgery consultation for early March with Dr. Keelee MacPhee. I am really excited to start this process and get concrete steps to move closer to achieving this life changing and life saving goal. I want to be transparent, I still very much need your help to reach my goal. The consultation itself costs $100. I can pay an additional $200 and have the surgeon’s office fight with insurance on my behalf to obtain pre-authorization of coverage for the total surgery cost of $8,044. Regardless if I obtain prior authorization of insurance coverage, I will still need to pay the surgeon’s fee of $3,675 before surgery can take place. If you are in a place to be able to put funds towards these costs I will be eternally grateful. Please share with anyone you see fit. Thank you all for your continued support!

In Solidarity,

Sterling
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Hey everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful fall thus far! I wanted to post a quick update! My wonderful friend and coworker, Erika, painted this lovely painting titled: The Running Free. She painted it with me in mind, and she generously decided to raffle the painting for the entire month of October with 100% of the proceeds going towards my top surgery. We will be revealing the winner tonight around 7:30 p.m. Only a few hours left to grab tickets. On Monday, the running total raised was $495!!! I am beyond grateful! The $495 plus $345 raised on this campaign totals at $840 which is roughly 16% of my goal! We have a long way to go but I am eternally grateful for every dollar and every share! Thank you so so much!
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Hey! I'm sorry it has been a minute since I've posted any updates. I want to catch you up on what is going on in my life. In early August, I attended the Trans Wellness Conference in Philly. I got to meet so many inspirations of mine and attend conference sessions on how best to gain access to trans specific health services. The conference was wonderfully informative and I left feeling more confident about my level of knowledge on the topic. However, the conference also gave me a better understanding of the daunting financial burdens myself and my trans siblings face. We often are left to educate our doctors on our medicial needs and that is IF we even have access to doctors willing to provide care to trans patients in the first place. Insurance policies often have loopholes that make accessing HRT or gender affirming surgeries nearly impossible. I am currently sifting through different summaries of benefits and coverage to try and enroll in a relatively trans inclusive insurance policy. This will be a huge step towards a healthy and happy life. Please consider helping me make that step with a donation to my fundraiser. <3

In Solidarity,
Sterling
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$3,921 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 12 months
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$75
Abigail Fortune
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Faith Virago
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