My name is Kiri Howard. I am a transgender woman originally from Canada, living in Hong Kong. This campaign is to raise funds for me to get Facial Feminization Surgery.
Being transgender is not a choice. For as long as I have lived, I have suffered from gender dysphoria: the desperate pain of my mind and body not matching. Growing up, wanting to wear skirts and dresses and being told “boys don’t wear those” or not feeling comfortable going into the boys washroom or locker room at school because although I LOOKED like them, I certainly didn’t FEEL like the other boys, I always felt more comfortable using stalls and sitting to urinate for example.
That is why I am now seeking professional help. Because I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and be at peace with my image and the face I see every single day.
For those of you who might not know, unfortunately, in Hong Kong the government has not yet recognized our rights as human beings. By being part of the LGBTQ community, and not being able to speak up and demand our rights, this has caused Hong Kong society to see us as taboo. This has therefore caused an incredible distress in my life, to the point of being fired and losing my job just for expressing who I really am. Luckily, I recently found a new job. Unfortunately, I had to hide myself again in order to be accepted in this society.
If I can get the funds for this surgery, my fears will be alleviated and I will not have to fear I could lose my job again at any time. I will not have to fear ridicule and discrimnation from people who unfortunately just do not understand.
This is why I am asking for your help. I cannot do it on my own. And hopefully, with your help, I can finally start being who I truly am!
My plan is to have the surgeries done in late June to early July, so that I have time to recover and be able to return to teaching as my authentic self in the new school year .
I have contacted several surgeons in Thailand, and although I am still vetting the surgeons to make a final decision, the cost will be, depending on the exchange rate at the time and the exact procedures performed (in person consultation will be required to figure out exactly. Only so much can be done with a handful of still photos over the internet), the goal amount is $45,000 USD. This is not only to cover the cost of the surgeries, but also for the recovery time that I will need to be off work, which could be up to 8 weeks. Unfortunately none of these surgeries are covered under medical insurance in Hong Kong. I have both my YouTube channel as well as the campaign Facebook page that I will be documenting the entire journey. More details can be found here:
There is so much to tell, I could never do it all in one long essay, so please visit my Facebook page and Youtube channel to follow my journey and learn more about what I am doing here.
With YOUR help, I will finally be able to be my true self and love myself after so long.
Kiri Alessandra Howard