A fundraising effort geared towards raising money for and awareness of my gender confirmation surgeries! With a contribution of $25.00, you will receive a limited edition Lip Tar: Matte in 'January Rising' (Bright Pink), created exclusively for this campaign. You can choose to have this delivered or arrange to pick it up in the store or directly through me (let me know in the shipping instructions). Shipping is included with the Lip Tar perk. Any extra help you give goes towards distributing January Rising to contributors.**
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 ridiculous. 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 January 15th, 2010, I began hormone replacement therapy as monitored by my primary care physician and the informed consent model of handling differently gendered individuals.-On January 1st, 2011, 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, 2011, I had an event at my house called "January Rising". It was the first time my friends and I got to share space without the facade of a feigned identity separating us. (A photo of that evening is shown below)
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 labeling 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.
It is incredibly terrifying to put myself out there with such intimate details of my life and body. Asking for help is hard. I am reaching out to my community, my friends, my family, my chosen family, and anyone who is touched by this experience, to please contribute. It doesn't have to be monetary - it can be as simple as spreading the word. I am entering this campaign with two goals outside of reaching the estimated cost of my surgery: raising awareness for communities of people who might not have access to this sort of story or information, and creating a resource for anyone else who might be considering this sort of process.
Oceans of love,
(*Photo Credits: Stella Rose and Chris Berntsen)
**Please Note: All 'January Rising' Lip Tar orders will be fulfilled and shipped by January herself. All other products purchased at OCCMAKEUP.COM must be purchased separately.