My name is Geddi Monroe, or some of you know me as Juniper Willow (no preference). I am a transgender woman who has spent the last 5 years working in the DIY art and music/punk scene of Asheville, NC. I've spent that time photographing hundreds of shows, creating zines, and playing in acts, and at the moment my life is dedicated to staying connected to this community. I publicly began my gender transition last year, and unfortunately this year has given me some pretty great financial challenges. My car is dealing with a failing transmission and heavy oil leak, my camera I use for my work in the scene is breaking down, I am being pushed out of my current apartment living situation, and more, but paramount to all this, the cost of my transgender care (HRT, doctors appointments, blood draws, therapy, laser hair removal for face and neck, and more) has become unsustainable. I am reaching out to the community for help with this.
I believe that if I were able to have the next 12 months of care financially assisted, not only would it grant me much more mental and emotional stability to tackle everything on my plate, but it would allow me to save the money up myself for my other needs instead of hemorraging funds on my medical costs. There are many more resources than community donations. There are grants I've applied to and continue to apply to, community organizations like Tranzmission who have been very helpful in allowing me to have clothes that affirm me, in addition to individuals that have offered me their secondhand clothing. I have seen hair stylists that give discounts and affordable rates to queer clients. Friends have let me borrow equipment or have given me rides for my professional life. I was denied one HRT route by insurance but am working with the wonderful folks the Fosnight Center to acquire other affordable routes. I am looking for more lucrative employment, preparing to change insurance soon, and more; This will not be a permanent predicament, and I believe I will one day have the stable guarantee of continuing to become the woman I've always hoped I could one day be, but in this moment I need help to get there. What does this look like? Right now:
Rough Estimate for HRT route (estimated by doctor and not covered by insurance):
$600 to $1,400 / year
Cost of therapy (required for eligibility for future surgeries or care)
$1,200 / year
Laser Hair Removal (Face and Neck)
$2,020 Milan Balance
$1,375 Ally Loan Balance (was required to accept)
There is also the cost of doctor's visits, other medications (finasteride, etc), lab work, clothes, makeup, grooming, that are hard to estimate and vary. There are also things I sort of dream of having but haven't had the funds to consider, like voice training. Many of these things also can (and have) partially been donated by community members, which also changes the financial burden.
$5,000 is a rough estimate of what I can predict. Anything less still helps massively, and anything more helps me go from the basics of my necessities to hopefully actually getting to ask myself, "What do I want for myself", a question transgender women so rarely get to seriously ponder for their life and body.
On a final note, I am young, turning 25, and I know I am fortunate to have a (hopefully) long life ahead. When this pressure closes in, I begin to lose my sight and hope of the life I dream of in the future. It begins to feel impossible. Of all my dreams, I can't bear to lose the sight of the person I know I am, becoming a reality. Please help me maintain sight of her. Thank you all so much for everything you've done to get me here at all, and everything the community continues to do.