Mia's Medical Upgrade

$8,020 of $7,600 goal

Raised by 69 people in 4 months
You can find all the details on my website , but here's the summary:

I’ll be having surgery on September 10, at Denver Health. It's been a long process to get here, but I'm excited to see it through! I've never had any surgery before, so I'm also a little terrified. As I've started to share the news, many people have asked how they can help.

I’ll be in the hospital for 3-4 days. After that, recovery is slow and difficult — with 4-6 weeks of limited movement before I’m back to my routine, and back to work. The bills and the boredom are likely to pile up, and you can help with both:

1. The Boredom

I have three amazing women who will be my primary caretakers during recovery — Erin, Rachel, and my mom — but it would be great to have visitors, or help with meals along the way. This is hard to plan in advance, since we’re not entirely sure when I’ll have time or energy. If you want to drop by the hospital (Sept 10-13), or my house (the rest of Sept, into Oct), get in touch with one of them.

If you need contact information, let us know. You can leave a note here, or contact me through my website.

2. The Bills

You're at the right place.

With my insurance, I expect to pay roughly $1300 in preparation (surgery-site hair removal), and another $7150 for the surgery (my out-of-pocket maximum). I will also lose 6 weeks wages, while trying to cover all my normal bills. All told, I’m looking at $10k-12k in surgery-related expenses.

That’s a debt I’m willing to take on if I have to, but it’s not money that I have. If you want to help financially, either by purchasing art, or with a direct gift here, any amount will help me pay rent and bills while I recover.

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Thank you for all the support that you’ve shown me through my transition. I feel very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.

Much love,
 ❤️ Mia
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Wow, I never expected to reach my funding goal, let alone pass it. Thank you so much for your love and support!

This sudden surgery has given me a lot to plan for, and even more to reflect on. When I mentioned my plans to Sondra, she remembers my first half-baked coming-out, back in 2010. At that point, I called myself a lazy transvestite — drawn to a more feminine presentation, but frustrated by how difficult that felt in my body at the time. The preferred term would have been cross dresser, but I was using the language I knew from Eddie Izzard. Looking back, it was not the process of "cross" dressing that I found frustrating, but the results. Being dressed is not the same as being seen.

Eddie's comedy was the first time I consciously recognized myself in another, and took the opportunity to explore and express what I was feeling. That lead to a trans writing conference, and many other inspirations. I had felt that connection before with occasional movie characters, from Kitten Braden to Brandon Teena— but their stories do not inspire deeper exploration. This is why shows like Pose and Sense8 are so important.

But I'm interested in the ways we update our self-stories over time, looking back to put together the same pieces of memory into new narratives. There are moments in life where change seems dramatic and notable, like a coming-out or a surgery, but the underlying truth is often more subtle. While my public transition starts with announcements, a new name, and hormones — my internal transition starts with a struggle to access then-blurry emotions, and express something unexplainable about my then-dissociated body.

My public transition is only an external representation of a more complex emotional un-blurring. For me, this isn't a story about hormones or surgery, but about learning to say I love you and mean it. Which get's back around to my main point:

I love you,
-Mia ❤
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So many of you have been spreading the word – I just received another $1400 in-person, and lowered the online goal to $7600. We're so close to covering my expenses, I can't even believe it. Thank you!

And, if I end up with anything extra, I will pass that along to other trans folks who need it.
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Good news: I've lowered the goal to $9000 after a local charity has offered to cover my housing & utility bills for the time I'm not working. I'll let them announce that with more details when the time comes, but it is a huge relief to know I have that support as well.

Together, you all are making this whole experience much less stressful. Thank you so much.
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Wow, you all are so wonderful and generous – thank you so much. I am entirely floored by this outpouring of support and love from friends, relatives, and strangers. I should not have expected anything else. You've been there for me over and over. Why does it still take me by surprise?

Thank you.

I keep trying to write an update worthy of your generosity. Maybe something about how we build up shame around money, and asking for help – friends had to convince me it was ok. But that’s looking the wrong direction. I want to talk about you, my family.

I've been watching Pose on FX, and thinking about the power of finding your chosen people – rebuilding family out of trauma, on new terms. I think about the years that "family" felt distant for me, even dangerous. I put up every wall I had, and moved to Denver.

I still don't know how we got here from there. My favorite part of transition has been the people it keeps bringing into my life – including people I’ve only half-known for years, now pulled closer. The queers and cousins and sisters and aunts and friends who reach out to me. Who bring me into their lives, and become chosen family: not in spite of our traumas, but because of them. Because we can cry and laugh and scream together.

It's too easy to look back and say "I built that!" – but it rings false. At every step, it's been the generosity of others inviting me in. People sharing their struggles, their pain, their vulnerability, their art and vision… until I might learn to share mine. I'm only sorry it's taking me so long.

There's a card in my novel that's been rumbling around my mind lately. The card I’ve always want to lean into, and build my life around:

"When I die they will say she kissed us all she could. What more could we ask? And I will say, through a video I recorded this morning, I’m sorry that I didn’t kiss you more."

Much love and gratitude,
❤️ Mia
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$8,020 of $7,600 goal

Raised by 69 people in 4 months
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