Jordan's Top Surgery: Bye Bye Boobies
Organized by: JORDAN SANTAMARIA
Legal Name Change Papers Finally Came! One Step Closer....
July 03, 2016
My name is Jordan Ryan and I am a transgender male (ftm). Since the age of 4, I've known I was different. Not knowing how to fully express what I was feeling, I told my mother, "mommy, God made a mistake. I think I was supposed to be a boy." Growing up I was, of course, an extreme tomboy, and that is what mostly everyone saw me as on the outside. But for me, and those who knew me well - there was something much more complex going on. However, I did also come from a very religious family that did not openly accept or understand LGBTQ people. Heck, as young as I was, I barely understood it myself. What I knew for sure was that - I was not a girl, I didn't understand how to be a girl (in the conventional sense), I liked being and acting like a boy and I always had crushes on girls. As I got older I thought, "well maybe I'm just a masculine female lesbian." But I dare not tell my family until much later (although once I finally came out, it was brought to my attention that most of them already knew this about me). Being brought up in a religious family, going to religious schools and church on Sundays, I was saturated with the idea that homosexuality was a sin, "acting like" the opposite gender you were assigned at birth was a sin, and these things were something to be ashamed of, forbidden, hidden, and prayed forgiveness for. Even thoughts and contemplations of such were sinful and required immediate, prayerful intervention in order to be redeemed. Because this theology was so engrained in my psyche, I pretty much lived a childhood of solitude inside my own thoughts, wondering why I was the way I was. I never had confidence in myself, I felt ashamed and guilty when family members brought me home feminine clothes and pushed me to wear them, after a while I felt resentment that no one saw how blatantly obvious it was that I did not fit this mold they were trying to shove me into. Nonetheless, whether it was because I was taught to fear God or I feared my family abandoning me, once I became an old enough teenager I decided I was going to stop these "silly delusions", suck it up and be the young woman I was supposed to be. At 17 I met a guy, fairly older than me, and we began dating. By 19, I had married this man and though I still felt both attracted to women AND that I was a male, I continued to pray that God would take this burden from me because, after all, I was doing the right thing. The Bible says, "to live in the flesh is death, to die to the flesh is gain." This played like a record on repeat over and over in my mind as years went by. I was, essentially, submitting myself to my own version of "conversion therapy". Guilt, fear, obligation, and loyalty kept me "in check" and I continued "fervently in prayer" as I searched the Scriptures endlessly when I was alone, and got on my knees begging God to help me. From being married at 19 to moving to the Bible Belt at 21 where I thought for sure, if I threw myself into this biblical lifestyle all my problems would be solved. Laughable, but I even tried to become a church wife and subtly convince my husband that maybe he was "called to preach". Wouldn't I be under God's good graces If I was a preachers wife? Everything would be fine then. Needless to say, nothing I did or tried stopped the truth from continuosly appearing in front of me. Little voices inside my head screaming, "you are a boy, you don't belong here, these people know, you can't fake this forever, stop pretending." Even after giving birth to my beautiful daughter at age 26, nothing changed. I felt maternal but I also suffered from severe post partum depression and psychosis which I had to be inpatient hospitalized for. The chemical and Hormonal changes of pregnancy can affect a female forever but top that off with the cringe worthy reminder every day that I was, in fact, a biological female. Fast forward to me being 29 ...almost 30 years old. I finally got the courage to live an authentic life and be the person I was always meant to be. I have been in and out of psychiatric hospitals because not only have I suffered from depression and anxiety from all these things in my past, but also a kind of PTSD called Religious Trauma Syndrome. I can no longer even set foot in a church or talk to a religious person without going Into full panic mode. Even after I decided to come out and finally be who I was meant to be, the guilt would still creep in from time to time and would cause me to self harm and have suicidal ideations. I am now 35 years old and completely 100% ready to be the "me" I've always been from the second I was born. Sometimes I get sad thinking about all those years I spent scared, alone and afraid - all that time I wasted where I could have been me but didn't have the courage. My one and only miracle from all that is my daughter, who loves me and accepts me however I am and wants me only to be happy. My relationship with my child, that in reality resulted from a false marriage, is the best relationship I have. She's such a wonderful kid and I'm so proud of the person she's becoming. Anyway, as I was saying - I am now 35 years old and I can say, out loud, to anyone who asks "I am a transgender man". This is very liberating. Unfortunately my outsides don't match my inside just yet. My body does not match my heart and soul. I am currently working with a gender specialist to get me closer to my goal where I can begin testosterone shots in an effort to outwardly be who I'm meant to be. However, top surgery is a huge factor for me and a huge part of my gender dysphoria. My chest is not small and, even with the knowledge that I'll soon be getting my testosterone shots, I am very anxious and depressed that I cannot do anything about my breasts because I do not have the financial means. That is why I am creating this fundraiser. I need to find a way to come up with as much funding as possible to put towards my top surgery. Because my chest is on the larger side, my surgery will be more costly. Insurance does not cover top surgery because most insurance companies do not consider this a legitimate medical/health concern and look at it as merely cosmetic. They refuse to acknowledge the emotional and psychological implications having breasts (especially larger ones) have on transmen. Please, if you can, donate anything - even $1 would be appreciated. If you know someone who's trans, if you are trans yourself, if you are part of the LGBTQ community or even if you're simply an ally - please understand how long I've waited for this moment, how long it's taken me to get to this point, and how much it would mean to one small soul to finally be set free. Thank you for reading my story. If nothing else, I hope it can inspire another possibly younger trans person to see that even through rough times, it can get better. It does get better. I am so close!