I’ve spent the last year and a half working extremely hard to share my story with so many of you, through countless performances (including two US tours) and the text/audio release of A Stranger Sound, my personal “transgender coming-of-age story”. Developing and performing this project has brought me close to and taught me about so many people, perhaps most importantly myself.
But recently, my body and mind have been pushing me to take time off from performing to focus on something equally important to my personal development: that dreaded word “transition.” I struggle with finding the words to write about such a big topic, because I worry that whatever I say will be construed as an ideological statement, intellectualized, dissected, problematized. So I’ll try to keep it simple here: I’m a broke, working class artist who needs to raise money for top surgery because:
- It’s something that i’ve felt necessary to my mental health for over a decade, and it’s only gotten worse dealing with this feeling over time. For those of you who have not experienced gender dysphoria, I’ll maybe just refer you to a poem I wrote because it’s far too big a feeling for prose.
- The physical effects of binding (which I have done on and off for over a decade, and almost nonstop for the last three years) are quite destructive to the body, and as a manual laborer and physical performer the demands of my work compound this destruction, leading to chronic pain and perhaps long-term damage (imagine wearing a whalebone corset while doing high intensity physical activity … now imagine only taking it off to sleep and bathe)
- As I get further along down the road of taking testosterone, it becomes more physically, but also socially, dangerous to have an “inconsistent” body. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is, and it’s a fact that often accelerates the urgency of an individual’s transition.
I don’t like to go the sob story route when asking for money. I am a proud person and I don’t like asking for help at all. But the fact of the matter is that I am indeed a working class artist, struggling with my physical health and balancing multiple jobs just to get by. I have a generous, but also financially strapped family living thousands of miles away. I am picking up extra work to try to fill in a little extra savings, but on my own, I could probably raise 1/10 of my goal, and that’s with really doubling down on savings.
I have chosen the surgeon Megan Hassall in Sydney Australia, which may seem like a strange choice but actually makes a lot more sense than traveling to the United States, where fees would be at least twice as high, or staying in Europe where the requirements for insurance coverage are impossible and the surgical techniques are not as desirable for me, personally. In fact, Dr. Hassall is one of the pioneers of and, from what I’ve seen after many, many years of research, has the best results with the technique I am most interested in. For such a life-altering surgery I think it’s important to take into account many variables, and Dr. Hassall has been at the top of my list for literally years so I think it makes sense to go with her.
All that being said, here is a breakdown of the costs, in Euros:
Surgery plus associated fees……4,000
Roundtrip airfare Berlin-Sydney…1,000
Lodging one month………………….1,500
Food one month………………………..750
Even with lodging and airfare, this is much more affordable than flying to one of the top surgeons in the US (upwards of 15k in some cases) and Dr. Hassall is more competent in the technique I am looking at. A one month recuperation period is standard, and wouldn’t change no matter where I traveled. And most importantly, this is the procedure I want, with the doctor I want.
The target timeframe for the surgery is March 2018. I am already in contact with Dr. Hassall’s office, but need to make significant headway with raising funds before I book an appointment. If you have any questions about this please feel free to drop me a line.
For those of you who fear I will be traveling alone for a major surgery: my partner will be traveling with me (her airfare is not calculated in the breakdown of costs, as she will be covering it herself) and I have a few contacts in Sydney who I can reach out to for help and information (including others who have experience with Dr. Hassall!).
All donors will be thanked online (unless you send a note wishing to remain anonymous). Those who donate 25 euro and up will receive a signed copy of the new A Stranger Sound, which includes recordings of the spoken word as well as the music, along with a handwritten thank you letter. Those who donate 50 euro and up will receive all of this plus a signed copy of my next project when it materializes (hopefully spring 2018!). Donors of 100 euro and up will receive all this plus a special video shout out! And finally, donors of 500 euros and up will receive free copies of all my releases for life PLUS a thank you/producer credit on my next release.
If you’ve read this far, thank you!! I truly appreciate your attention. I would greatly welcome a donation of even the smallest amount you could give. Please on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more detailed updates, and click the donate button below if you’d like to send a donation.