When I was just a little girl, the only thing I wanted was a baby sister. Due to my mom’s inability to have more children, my parents took a leap of faith and decided to adopt. I remember the day I held her for the first time; how could I forget those big curious eyes and perfectly rounded head? In my eyes, I had a new best friend, a playmate, and someone in addition to my parents who would always love me unconditionally.
Olivia was a tom-boy, she climbed trees, found insects fascinating, and hated the color pink. On the other hand, I was the complete opposite. I played with baby dolls, barbies, and wanted to be a disney princess. It didn't bother me that we were different, she was just my sister, and I loved her.
Fast forward to about two years ago. Olivia was 13 and I was 16. It was our last night of family vacation in Florida and Olivia and I were catching up on some sisterly bonding in the resort's hot tub. We joked and laughed until the mood took on a more serious tone. Looking back it was mostly a blur, but this was when Olivia officially came out to me as being transgender. All I remember is telling her that I would love, accept, and support her no matter what.
Over the past two years, our family has faced a myriad of challenges; it has been an emotional rollar coaster to say the least. My sister Olivia, now brother Hunter is such a beautiful person from the inside and out. I am so proud to be able to tell people Hunter is my brother. Aside from the fact that he is funny, artistic, and musical, he is caring, loving, and has a heart of gold. He is always looking out for others, and would give someone the shirt off his back. Because my family has supported and accepted his decision to transition, he now is beginning to see himself the way he always envisioned. He is learning to love himself and to not be ashamed of who he is.
Love and support from us have helped him in so many ways, however there are a few things we simply are not able to provide for him. Top surgery (not only the removal of breast tissue, but the reconstruction of the female chest into a masculine one) is one of them.
Despite the fact that Hunter has a masculine haircut, wears clothes from the boys department, and has started testosterone, his female anatomy remains. Some transgender individuals never receive any kind of surgery because body parts do not determine one's gender. However, Hunter knows that in order for him to be fully confident and live life as his authentic self, this surgery is necessary. It is the little things that excite Hunter, and the things you and I take for granted. I know he can't wait to finally be able to go swimming with his friends without a shirt on and be like any other guy. Over the years, Hunter's chest has caused him a lot of anxiety, self-hatred, and pain. Unfortunately, surgery like this is not covered by insurance and can be up to 10,000 dollars. Hunter deserves the best, and just like everyone else, he deserves to be happy. Throughout this journey, we have been so fortunate to be supported and accepted by our community. To say we have been lucky would be an understatement. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support from the bottom of my heart.
Any donation would be greatly appreciated.