For the past few months my extremely hairy legs and chest have been causing increasing dysphoria. Often times it is bad enough that I have to change clothes after trying on what I was planning on wearing or do an emergency shaving session. Usually I end up regretting when I shave though because my dense curly hair tends to get ingrown very easily and right now my chest is covered in red bumps from the last time I tried. Sugaring works slightly better but the monthly cost is very expensive over time.
Dysphoria is a weird experience that doesn’t really make sense on a logical level. I have no problem with my beard or even my arm hair. But my face underneath the beard, particularly my chin, does cause me distress. It is very disorienting to have such a strong reaction to your own body and it can throw off your whole day if you have a triggering moment. It also makes it really hard to try on clothes because some things can unpredictably feel so incredibly wrong (or rather highlight how wrong your body feels) that you have to tear them off instantly and rush out of the store.
I’ve been wresting with what to do about it for awhile now. I have a lot of big life expenses right now and I’m supposed to be saving for a baby and for my own jaw surgery. Things like hormones I can probably get covered under insurance but almost no insurance covers hair removal except on genitals as part of surgery. As with most things, I have a hard time prioritizing my own health needs and justifying spending money on myself in that way.
But yesterday I finally got up the courage to do something I never thought I could – ask for money for my health. I did some research on the costs and the best places to go and then I put together a crowdfunding campaign asking for $1,200 for laser therapy and/or electrolysis. I shared it to my Facebook wall but didn’t post it widely. I really didn’t think much would come of it though; maybe a few hundred bucks for the first treatment.
What happened truly blew my mind. Within 6 hours, my campaign was fully funded and now, less than 24 hours later, I have $1,465 from 12 donors! My partners shared it and one my fiance’s friends who I have only met once, stepped up and gave $1,000! His comment on her post said “I don’t understand, but understanding is not required” which to me is the epitome of allyship. I know gender dysphoria doesn’t make sense to most people who have never questioned their gender. But he did what we all hope the people in our lives will do – listened, believed, and stepped up to help in the ways that he could.
Even writing this now I am close to tears of joy. I struggle so much with unworthiness and this makes me feel so loved. Today I called and made my first appointment. I still can’t believe that it is actually happening though and isn’t just some far off dream!
To all of you who read this and believe my experience, even if you don’t understand it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate you all!