Hi there! My name is Sophia Thomas. I am a 22 year-old transgender woman currently living in Massachusetts. I have been transitioning socially for four years now, and medically for two and a half, and transition is what I’m here to talk about.
With my name finally changed, all that really remains for my transition is what many consider “the big end”: surgery.
For many transgender people, genital surgery (or “bottom surgery”) is incredibly important, especially for transfeminine people such as myself. For one, having two sets of hormones in your body at the same time can actually be harmful to your health, and the remaining presence of the body’s genetic hormones can hinder the effectiveness of the new ones being added.
For trans women in particular, surgery can mean the difference between surviving or getting killed during sexual assault. Far too often I hear stories of the horrible deaths given to transgender women after they were sexually assaulted. While this is, of course, no fault of the victim, I can’t wait for society to grow up. I want a fighting chance.
It can also help with passing—a trans woman who doesn’t pass 100% of the time may be immediately outed by the sight of a bulge in her pants, and this can often lead to the aforementioned sexual assault. While I don’t have too much difficulty passing, you can never be too cautious.
Keep in mind that this isn’t exactly something I’ve wanted to do. I’m going to be graduating college soon, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a job that could pay for surgery, but in the off chance that doesn’t happen, I want to have a safety net.
So, I’m asking for donations.
Bottom surgery for trans women is incredibly expensive, ranging on average from $15,000 to $30,000. Combine that with student loan debt, and you have some seriously daunting numbers. I’m asking because I still have a chance. I’m still young, but I was not able to get any sort of familial support, which can be essential for young trans people of all genders. I don’t want to wait until I’m 30.
I don’t want to seem like I’m begging, and I’m not. If you aren’t able to donate, that’s completely fine. I understand that almost all of my friends are broke college and high school students like myself. So, at the very least, I just request that you signal boost, and even then, just knowing I have your support matters to me.
Also, if by some stroke of luck, I find a way to pay for my surgery be it through a job or other means, I will either donate the money earned to some LGBT charity group (any suggestions for a particular group would be more than welcome), or to funding the surgery of one of my friends. I’m a firm believer in giving back to the community.
And hey, I figure if a group of frat boys can put together a charity to pay for their transgender member’s top surgery, I should give it a shot. And if a group of three guys who like to talk over movies can raise three times their goal in a day and a half to riff Twilight, or a certain webcomic artist can raise two MILLION dollars to make a video game, I think raising $20,000 can be done.