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148 donations

This fundraiser ended on 12/01/12

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I am raising money for Gender Assignment Surgery/SRS.

I hope this letter will reveal a bit of my life I may not have shared with you yet, and also educate on behalf of the transgender population. I would like to share my personal story to gather attention and resources for myself (and other transgendered people) while raising money for gender assignment surgery/ SRS:

I am a 30 year old yoga teacher, licensed massage therapist, musician and artist who identifies as female. I have never identified with being male since I was about 5 years old. I have navigated being physically male while exploring various gender presentations for about 10 years. I'm very fortunate to have been supported in my decision to start transitioning to become female about 5 years ago. Now I am at the base of a scary and exciting mountain: it is time for me to get gender assignment surgery to bring my physical transition into a sustainable place for my long-term health. For many reasons getting gender assignment surgery will increase my health and quality of life as well as allow my to reduce hormone therapy significantly.

It's been a huge obstacle to have been born male, but I also believe it is a great blessing. I have experienced the power of Self: the part of myself that is unchangeable and knows what's right even when no one else understood. It is through yoga that I experienced the clarity to continue on my unique path. I believe that embracing the challenges involved with raising money and getting surgery will contribute to my ability to embrace my life and my community.

I have seen yoga heal many people on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. I have seen yoga give countless people who have felt lost a sense of profound purpose. Speaking for myself, I can say that I would not be the person I am without having the gift of yoga for the past 11 years. The courage that it took to come out as transgender and to accept myself was more than I though I had inside me. Through the practice of yoga I have gained the ability to accept who I was created to be.

If I can find a way to afford Gender Assignment surgery/ SRS I can reduce my hormone therapy to about 1/4th of the dosage I need now. This would be much less taxing on my body long term, and there is much less conflict of testosterone and estrogen once I am post-operative. Not to mention the psychological relief I would experience to have surgery as an option; it would be an honest dream come true!

If finances weren't an issue I would go ahead and get surgery, which is about $20,000 dollars if done in the US. Because I have always worked for very little money I never really considered it attainable; but now I have outgrown that belief. Even if I can get health insurance, most insurance companies have specific exclusion policies around gender assignment surgery. And worse, most surgeons that specialize in transgender surgeries don't take health insurance.

I don't want to give up doing what I love working as a yoga teacher and massage therapist to work 40 hours a week at a big company that would offer a health plan that doesn't have exclusions for pre-existing conditions like being transgender.

And so it is my intention of 2012 to raise $20,000 from my own savings and the community that I love. I do believe we all deserve to be supported and held in community, and it's a humbling practice to ask.

I encourage you to consider all the potential causes for your hard-earned income before donating to my humble cause. That said $5, $25, $50.... anything would go a long way. Your contribution would really make a difference, even small contributions can make a great impact. Be the support you would love to expect.

Feel free to contact me with resources or questions, I'd be happy to utilize this situation to gain mutual awareness.
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