Vagina Surgery

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I was born without a vagina. I'd like to fix that.
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Health
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
2 Team Members

I've scheduled my surgery for April 23rd, 2014 and I need your help to pay for it.

I can't even begin to explain what this would mean to me or to my partnerFor me, this would be the physical endpoint of a difficult and complicated journey. Logistically, I'd be able to change all of my government documentation to F which would allow me to not be outed to employers and physicians. But I would also be able to look how I want to look and have the kind of sex I want to have. I just want to know what it's like to love my body for one day and I'll be happy. Please help me get to that day.

What can you do?

If you're in a position to donate, please donate. 

I've tried to assemble a variety of interesting perks and stretch goals (see below) to encourage your generosity. You will receive my undying gratitude and you will be a part of changing someone's life in an incredibly meaningful way.

This is the one and only time in my life that I will ever ask for money. If you want to support me or say thanks for something I've done, this is your chance.

I recognize that not everyone is in a position to donate or that you might prefer to donate to folks in more desperate positions. I understand and respect that choice. I don't have money to give away, either, and I know that others need funds more than I do.

If you make the choice to support me, please share this fundraiser far and wide. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, even Google+. E-mail your friends. If each one of my Twitter followers raised $4 in one day of donations, I'd have enough money for the surgery TOMORROW. The further this spreads, the faster it gets funded.

What am I giving back? A GAME and more!

SUPER VAGINA TIME

In addition to several perks (at the side), this fundraising campaign has one major stretch goal. If it reaches $15,000 (an amount which will comfortably cover my procedure as well as associated travel and lodging costs -- see details below), I will commission game designer Cameron Kunzelman (Catachresis and Alpaca Run) to make 

a twitch-arcade vagina dilation game about vaginoplasty aftercare. 

If you enjoyed Super Hexagon, you'll like this game a lot. 

I will also commission my friend Brigid Choi to compose and record a riot grrrl soundtrack for this game. I'll also commission someone to help Cameron with the vagina art. THIS WILL BE AS AMAZING AS IT SOUNDS. It is tentatively titled: SUPER VAGINA TIME. The game will be released by January 15th, 2014.

A screenshot from Alpaca Run:

Possible Donation to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

When the surgery is over and all the associated bills have been paid (including the wages of my game creators), 

I will donate any and all leftover money to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

SLRP is a legal aid organization that advocates for "low-income people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming." SLRP is a tremendous organization that helps people who are far less privileged than myself. 

Feel free to donate well beyond the stretch goal. If I reach the goal, I'll be publicizing the IndieGoGo as a way to raise money for SRLP, using the flashiness of our cool Super Vagina Time game to get the Internet interested in helping out low-income trans* folks.

Details and Disclosures

Transparency and honesty are the core principles of this fundraising campaign. I attend Emory University and I'm covered under our student health insurance plan. Thanks to remarkable transgender advocacy on campus, my health insurance plan covers both psychological counselling and hormone replacement therapy. The plan also covers a percentage of transgender surgeries depending on whether the surgeon is in network or out of network. 

Timing

My procedure is on April 23rd, 2014. After the first of the year, my surgeon will begin pre-authorizing the procedure with my insurance provider and it would be comforting to have the money on hand at that point. I'm raising the money early so that I can relax, be prepared and so that I can make arrangements that fall within my budget. More importantly, if I fail to raise the money this fall, I'll need extra time to take out loans and credit cards to cover all of my costs.

Cost of the Procedure

In the case of my surgeon, the plan should cover 80% of a procedure quoted to me at $20,000: $4,000. However, the only student to go through sex reassignment surgery under this health insurance plan was then charged another $4,000 in hospital and other fees: $8,000. That's what I've set as the main goal.

Extra Costs

This is nowhere near the total cost of this endeavor. There may be other medical costs associated with the procedure: hair removal on the genitals, precautionary tests or procedures for my heart condition, what-have-you. I will also have to travel to the location of the surgery (thousands of miles away) and I will have to find lodging for my convalescence. I won't be able to work for about a month. Someone needs to take care of me and help me dilate my vagina (the subject of Super Vagina Time). 

I would also like to be able to fly my partner out for the procedure and convalescence. She's a student to works part-time to pay for her tuition. She wouldn't be able to afford covering travel expenses on this income while being away from work. Having her by my side would mean the world to me. She'd be able to hold my hand before I went under and she'd be smiling at me when I woke up.

All this is to say that if the proceeds of this campaign exceed $8,000, the money will be put to good use and will not be used for any raucous parties. Overall, this whole trip will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $12,000-$14,000.

What Happens to Extra Money?

I've set the stretch goal for the game at $15,000 because I'm confident that will be enough to cover all of my costs and leave me with enough leftover to pay Cameron, Brigid and an artist.

When the surgery is over, and all the bills and game-makers are paid, I will donate any and all leftover money to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

Extra money will absolutely not be spent outside of the surgery trip or the game. I'm taking this campaign very seriously and, as mentioned, I'll be publicly posting documentation for all expenses.

Where Does the Money Go?

This campaign runs on a flexible funding model which means I will receive money even if I don't reach my goal. All money raised will be saved toward surgical expenses.

It will go into a separate savings account that I will not use for anything else. I will show this account balance to several trustworthy folks at regular intervals and they will verify that I'm not using it for buffalo wings and ice cream sandwiches. 

Receipts and documentation for everything the money is used for (with account numbers and personal info redacted, of course) will be posted publicly in updates to this campaign.

Acknowledging My Privilege

I want to be clear that I am incredibly fortunate to have a health insurance plan that covers a large portion of the cost of surgery. Other folks need care more than I do and I'd encourage you to seek out and contribute to other IndieGoGo campaigns as well. My addition of the potential SRLP donation is a way to try to use some of my visibility for other folks as well.

I also want to disclose that I come from an upper-class family that would typically swoop in to help me with life-saving medical expenses. The catch is that my parents are devout Mormons who have told me that transitioning was "the worst decision I can possibly make in my life." I'm on my own for this. And my grad student stipend checks are nowhere near large enough for costly medical procedures.

With those disclosures in mind, I'm asking for your help. If you like the work that I do, if you've enjoyed something I've made, this is a way for you to dramatically improve the quality of my life in return. You'll never forget that you were a part of this and I'll never quit thanking you.

$10,862USD
raised by 344 people in 1 month
136% funded
0 time left
$8,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 11, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $4USD
    Alpaca Matching Service

    For two years after the surgery, I will sing the praises of one donor per day on Twitter. I will pair you with a unique alpaca picture and the alpaca will sing about you in its strange but beautiful tongue.

    62 out of 730 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $10USD
    Vagina Baroness

    In a personalized video message, I will look deep into your eyes from across the void of the Internet and exclaim my love for you with my mouth full of a unique food. Each video features a different food.

    85 out of 250 claimed

    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $20USD
    Letter from Ingrid

    My alpaca Ingrid (pictured above), star of ALPACA RUN, will send you a personalized message in the snail mail because she is old-fashioned. In order for Ingrid to produce the most thorough message possible, please leave your astrological sign and a link to your most salient web presence as a comment.

    60 out of 60 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $50USD
    Super Rainbow Vagina Friends

    Because of your generosity, we will be super vagina friends forever. To honor this occassion, I will send you a laminated certificate that certifies our super rainbow vagina friendship. It will be signed by me and my vagina.

    45 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $100USD
    Pre-Surgery Virtual Happy Hour

    A few days before the surgery, I'll host a super long Google Hangout happy hour during which close friends and I will hang out and assuage my nervousness. I won't be drinking but you're welcome to do so! A $100 donation grants you VIP access to this Google Hangout. Come wish me well, read me a poem and listen to me cry! We'll be rotating people in and out. *Alcohol not provided

    6 out of 60 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $250USD
    Chief Vagina Engineer

    You'll receive a T-shirt with "Chief Vagina Engineer" emblazoned on the front. There will be no context for this. Wear at your own risk. Corey and I will also visit an alpaca farm this summer and take a family portrait. Using this portrait, we will create our own holiday greeting card. Corey will be wearing a crown. I will be wearing a tiara. We will only make 8 of these cards. You'll also receive a letter from Ingrid and a VIP spot at the Pre-Surgery Virtual Happy Hour.

    7 out of 8 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $500USD
    Mythical Vagina Warrior

    For your bravery and sacrifice, I will commission a special trophy that proclaims you a MYTHICAL VAGINA WARRIOR. This will be very embarrassing for me to order at a trophy shop. Only four of these trophies will ever exist. You should treasure yours forever. You'll also receive a letter from Ingrid and a VIP spot at the Pre-Surgery Virtual Happy Hour.

    0 out of 4 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Mythical Vagina Warrior

    I will write, record and mail you a personalized song about you, written from the perspective of my brand new vagina. Please allow three months post-surgery for delivery. You'll also receive a letter from Ingrid and a VIP spot at the Pre-Surgery Virtual Happy Hour.

    1 out of 2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $9,000USD
    Archduke of Vagina Palace

    Congratulations, wealthy venture capitalist! You have just paid for my entire vagina in one fell swoop. You have also paid for me to fly to your location (in North America, UK or Australia only) in the summer of 2014 and have dinner with you in a public location. I will listen to all of your problems and hand feed you (no more than three) grapes. Then I will fly home. You'll also receive a letter from Ingrid and a VIP spot at the Pre-Surgery Virtual Happy Hour.

    0 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
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