Organized by: nikiki williamson
What led me here: Three years ago I decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace an identity that felt inherent, albeit deeply repressed. As an individual who was coercively assigned male at birth, identifying as female from an early age felt deeply shameful, frightening, and at times ridiculuous. Without the language or the backbone of a community to support me, it was easy to be led astray by the narrow two-gender system presented by society. Unfortunately, this is not unique to my experience. I decided the only way to move forward with my life was to stop ignoring the elephant in every space I set foot in, and begin my transition rites. On December 15th, 2011, I began hormone replacement therapy as monitored by my primary care physician and the informed consent model of handling differently gendered individuals. On Decamber 18st, 2012, I came out publicly as a trans woman and began the process of having people call me by my chosen name (which I then changed legally at a later time). On January 15th, 2013, I had an event at my house called "Rising". It was the first time my friends and I got to share space without the facade of a feigned identity separating us. Why Fundraise? Why Not Insurance? Now, after three years after beginning hormone replacement therapy, and after two years of passing through the world as January Hunt, I have come to a halting stop, realizing the remaining steps towards overcoming are perhaps the biggest, most expensive, and invasive of all. Surgery is not for everyone, and certainly not for every person of transgender or transsexual experience, but for me it is necessary for my health - mental and emotional. The medical industry/industrial complex has effectively kept transgender people from accessing their bodies for many years, partially through bureaucratic procedural hurdles, and partly through general ignorance of trans experiences. Because of that, the medical industry insists on labelling gender confirming/affirming surgeries as cosmetic rather than medically necessary. The ripple effect is that most private and public health insurance organizations do not cover surgeries for transgender people, even if deemed medically necessary by a physician or therapist. The problem with this is evident, and there are statistics to prove that for many people, medical and surgical transition, is necessary to their survival. Left with few other options and a stubborn drive, I decided to develop a fundraising campaign and make the next step towards hope public. The Logistics: Sex Reassignment Surgery estimated minimum cost: $15,000* Gender Affirming Breast Augmentation estimated cost: $10,000 *Sex reassignment surgery would take place in either the United States, Canada, or Thailand, depending on surgeon availability, travel, and the amount of money raised in this campaign.