Making the Personal* Political** – Andrew’s Top Surgery Fundraiser

*My chest
**Politics = money
As of 8/14 I have raised $9140… as in MORE than my goal!
fundraising thermometer
I don’t know how to comprehend this or express my gratitude but… we did it. Thank you all, so much, for contributing, for sharing, for emotional support, for love and for an absurd amount of boob jokes.
Surgery is still a few months off. I NEVER expected this fundraiser to work so quickly. I raised $9000 in fewer than 3 weeks. I was expecting months of working at this, or for it to not work at all. I’m still trying to comprehend that this worked.
P.S. I’m leaving the page up, as is, for the time being so that the people who have asked how I ran my fundraiser can see it.
Ladles and genderqueers, children who’ve stolen their parents’ credit card, step right up! There are THREE ways you can engage with this here fundraising page.
1) “I don’t want to read. I just want to give you money.”
“I mean, okay, I’d like a *little* more information than that.”
I’m a trans man and I want you to give me your hard-earned cash so I can have top surgery which basically means removing breast tissue and reshaping my chest to appear more masculine. Gross, right? You’re the one who asked.
3) “But I want to know all the sordid details of what you’re doing to your body and why you’re doing it.
And if you could include one of those nifty photo montages that have pictures of you in a dress from when you were a girl I’d really appreciate it. It would help me understand you better.”

So I’m a trans man. I mean, really, I’m a genderqueerish trans masculine spectrum feminist cheerleader but since most of the people reading this are probably from my church, and for the sake of simplicity, let’s just go with “Andrew is a trans man.”
I’ve been out for about 6 years but I made the decision to begin medically transitioning much more recently. It was a really tough decision because in a lot of ways it didn’t seem to mesh with how I told myself I was supposed to feel about the world. Transitioning from someone society gendered as female to somebody society gendered as male came with this icky feeling of accepting privilege I neither wanted nor earned. After spending a lot of time with some really radical people, both cis and trans, I quietly began testosterone. That’s why you might have noticed I sound more like a pubescent boy lately.
That was fine; it didn’t require anything from my community. Nobody even needed to know so, aside from a few good friends and a woman I randomly broke down to at church after a meeting once (she was a champ. A very confused champ.)
Top surgery is different. For a lot of reasons I don’t really want to share the fact that I want to have this surgery. I’ve actually been waffling back and forth on even running a fundraiser for a long while and I’m finally at the point where I’ve recognized two things. One is that I definitely do want this. Two is that I’m never going to raise $9000+ in extra cash while in grad school or in the early years of ministry. Or frankly in the later years of ministry. It’s not like it’s a lucrative career.
I consider myself a pretty body positive feminist and I’m all about trans people who choose to not have surgery for whatever reason. For me having a large chest means I choose to not participate in things I like. I don’t go swimming, or running, or anything too active in the summer. I don’t fit in men’s clothes in the way I want because my body isn’t shaped the right way. And I’m starting to feel some not-great health effects from binding my chest on a daily basis.
That’s about where I’m at. I have health insurance through my seminary but it specifically does not cover any health care related to transition.
You got questions? I got sarcasm!
You hate women.
That’s not a question. But, no, I don’t hate women.
Great, now EVERY time I see you I’m going to be thinking of your chest.
Crap. I was worried about that. Sorry!
You CLEARLY have money! You just spend it on the wrong things.
Actually, as any of my friends will tell you, I don’t spend money on food because I’m a breathatarian. I obtain all of my nutrients through an ancient, appropriated spiritual practice of deep breathing and staring at the sun*.
I also didn’t wear clothing for a number of years but the expense of the public indecency tickets ended up being more than the money I saved by not wearing clothing.
*stay tuned for information about my retina surgery!
This isn’t medically necessary. There are a lot of causes out there that actually help people. Why would I donate to your cosmetic surgery fundraiser.
No, technically this isn’t medically necessary. There are lots of things everyone could do with their money.
I…. just, what? That’s messed up, yo.
Who said I’m not offering anything?!
(Please note: if you want an incentive you MUST say so in your paypal note. Otherwise I’ll just have to assume you have enough junk in your life and don’t want more. Please note stickers, thank you cards, bookmarks and necklaces will be sent starting in mid to late August)
A STICKER! What, I’m broke, too. I don’t have a bunch of money to spend on fancy schmancy incentives.
-By the AMAZING Lindsay Popper: postcard-sized artwork including, but not limited to, root vegetables or bible verses or recycled-paper butterflies
-A thank you card designed by me and handwritten.
-A DOZEN duct tape roses, in colors of your choice, by the multitalented Allegra Stout!
-A hand-crosstitched bookmark with a Bible verse made gender neutral. Yep. Totally serious. (limit 20)
-Also by the AMAZING Lindsay Popper: wall-art, mostly root vegetables. Or whales.
Nature art by Emily Durost, an obscenely talented friend of mine. Seriously awesome stuff.
SEVEN CUSTOM BOW TIES by Aliyah of Magmisc! Seriously, CHECK THESE OUT!
A HAND KNIT pair of socks by the ever fabulous Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper. But y’all, this is NOT just a pair of socks. This is a sock ADVENTURE. She will document your socks wherever they go as she knits them and post hilarious updates on Facebook about them. It’s worth it just to see your sock attend a Moral Monday rally in North Carolina. Limit ONE.
Those are MY socks. Your socks will be different. Just as fabulous, but different.
A black, laser-cut acrylic necklace pendant of the chalice I designed OR a black, laser-cut acrylic necklace trans symbol pendant (not pictured).
A hand-stitched wall hanging (2’x2’) or stole (for you minister types out there). We’ll have an email conversation about this before I make anything. (limit 3)
Didn’t you already save a bunch of money for this? What happened.
Short answer? Life.
Longer answer? Eh, I don’t really wanna go into it. Message me.
Andrew, those are AMAZING incentives. I want to help you out by making EVEN MORE AMAZING things for you to use as incentives.
Email me. Seriously.

7 Responses to “Making the Personal* Political** – Andrew’s Top Surgery Fundraiser”

  1. I am just rolling on the floor! It’s totally perfect! You could, perhaps, do stand up comedy? Hugs!
    Count me in–I will email you.

  2. And I will match the first $100 donation. Or the first two $50 donations.

  3. So happy for you friend! If you need care after surgery, or an unfinished zine for a caregiver after surgery, let me know! (I’m so good at squeezing the goop out of the tubes…)

  4. I’m in! I would love to help you swim! I don’t usually contribute to personal appeals, but … I think you are worthy on so many fronts. First, my friend Kit finds you worthy. Second, you are going to be a UU minister, and you are right, I don’t see you being able to save money the way that most of us do for our surgeries. I think you will make a good UU minister and I would prefer that you spend your time to concentrating on that.

    Finally, it is important to get these things done early. I was in my late 30’s when I went the other way. Somehow people don’t respond well when they see breasts on a person they perceive as male. It was not well received at my department’s summer outing (pool party) back then. So I feel for you! No one should have to bind. Its uncomfortable and unhealthy. I believe that there is a bible verse on removing parts of your body that offend you. I’d like to help.

  5. Love it! I wish I’d seen it in time to contribute!

    • You can always just give me money! 😛

      But if you’re interested in donating to a wonderful organization that has helped me a lot the Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth (BAGLY) is where any extra funds raised will be donated. I interned there for two years and they are all fabulous people who have been working with queer youth for thirty-two years.


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