#TransForTheHolidays: End of Season Thoughts and Observations

 

The 2016 #TransForTheHolidays Season has come to an end. We couldn’t be happier with the response. For a project that was conceived quickly one day at work right before Thanksgiving, I never imagined the project getting so big, so fast. I never anticipated the support I’d get, both from friends and strangers. And more than all of that, I never imagined the way this project would affect me. People came to me in their time of need and that is incredibly humbling – I can only hope that I have helped them. I found myself attached to their stories, when they told them; like I was catching up with an old friend. I found myself wondering about the rest of their lives, worrying for their safety and searching everywhere for that one special item they asked for. There are so many feelings I have about this project and can’t wait for more in 2017. Let me break some things down about this year’s project. Continue reading #TransForTheHolidays: End of Season Thoughts and Observations

#TransForTheHolidays: Last Call for 2016

Wow. So first, what a response. We were lucky enough to be shared by Point of Pride and our response quadrupled in a few hours. We are coming up on the deadline to have items shipped to arrive by Christmas 2016. While this isn’t strictly a Christmas program, we are hoping to have the packs mailed by 12/21/2016 to have them at people’s doorsteps by Christmas. That being said, let me proceed with the area-specific updates.

Donate: The Amazon Wishlist is still up and I broke down and set up a PayPal Account to help offset shipping costs. I’m working on some updates to it to reflect better what we have and what we’re still looking for. Gift cards would be awesome at this point. If you’d like, you can email e-gift cards to TransForTheHolidays@gmail.com. If your donation doesn’t make it in time to get into a 2016 gift pack, don’t worry: it will NOT go to waste. Leftovers and late arrivals will be stored for 2017, or some possible other projects #TransForTheHolidays hopes to do in 2017. Early in the year, we’re going to be working on becoming an official non-profit organization and expanding our base. So don’t you worry. We will be putting everything to good use.

Ask For Help: The survey is still up! Please have your responses in by the end of this week so we can have you a pack by Christmas. We’ll be keeping the survey open through the end of the year, then closing it to focus on coming back even stronger in 2017. We’ve been getting a lot of requests for binders and packers. I’m still looking for resources for people in the packer department, but if you’re looking for a binder, head over to Point of Pride‘s binder give away program and get yourself on their waiting list. How long it takes depends on demand and sizing, since they’re donation based. But they’ll help you as fast as they can.

Signal Boost: Keep sharing. Keep using #TransForTheHolidays. Don’t forget to make the post public so everyone can see it. Finally, follow our new Facebook Page for ongoing updates about 2017 plans and documentation of our shenanigans in kicking off a non-profit. It’s a little barebones right now, but thanks to a friend far artsier than I, we will soon have a totally kickass logo. And we’ll post pictures of the care packs going together.

Next update will include pictures of the mayhem that is Melissa and I packing boxes for shipment. We forgot the post office closes early on Satuday, so we didn’t pick up boxes today, but we have 8 out of 27 packs ready to roll and another 5-7 just waiting on an item or two.

Until next time, much love!
Tyler

Community Support Project: #TransForTheHolidays

As many of you know, the holidays are a tough time for trans people. For some it means going home to a family that doesn’t respect their names or pronouns, and for many, it means not having a home to go home to. The NTCE  estimates that as many as 20% of trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, but this year, I’m hoping to ease that burden, at least a little, for some people. That’s why I’m starting this project. I don’t know how successful it will be, but I’m hoping to get at least a little support and help out at least a person or two.

#TransForTheHolidays hopes to send out some care packages to homeless, couch surfing, closeted, in a shelter, or other trans people that might not be looking forward to the holidays. What I need is your help. I don’t personally know any trans people in these sorts of situations, so here’s what you can do:

Donate: It’s going to be difficult for me to accept monetary donations, but if the demand is high enough I’ll set up a pay pal or something. The easiest way would be to purchase something off the Amazon Wish List. Once received, I’ll either use the supplies to assemble care packages or forward restaurant gift cards to people that might not otherwise know where their next meal is coming from. I’ll even let you know exactly how I used your donation, if you’d like. Email Address: Trans For the Holidays <transfortheholidays@gmail.com>. I was careful to select products from companies with a history of LGBT inclusion, especially Procter & Gamble, the parent company behind Secret.

 

Signal Boost: Sometimes people can’t afford to spend money. I get that, so help me get the word out. Use #TransForTheHolidays to get the word out. Sign someone up that may be afraid to ask for help (packages will be discreet so as to not out someone) – sign up yourself and we’ll send you one. Sometimes it’s just nice to know someone’s thinking of you.

 

Ask for Help: If you need help, just sign up using this form. Like I noted above, the packages will be discreet and your address, email address and phone number will not be used for anything but sending you a care package. The phone number is only required if you’re going to pick up your package from a post office and we’ll get something out to you – no judgement, no questions.

All of this information has been permanently posted as a page on my blog as well: #TransForTheHolidays

Happy Holidays and Much Love,

Tyler
Edit: after some feedback from the community, I took out the send a package option for the time being. There’s no sure fire way to verify that volunteers for this will be discreet in their mailings. If there’s a way I can bring this back safer for the recipients, I will.

Document Amendments: Consular Report of Birth Abroad

As many of you know from previous posts, I’m an army brat. So I don’t have a state-issued birth certificate; I have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-545 or FS-240, depending on your birthdate). In the post-election hubbub, it’s given me the impetus to update my documents and I figured I’d post it here to help you guys out if you’re in a similar situation, including the wording I’m using for my affidavit.

If you only have the FS-545, you’ll also need a signed, notarized affidavit stating that the FS-240 form is not in your possession.

Instructions for replacing or amending a consular certificate of birth abroad are listed on the Department of State’s WebsiteContinue reading Document Amendments: Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance…and for the first time I’m seeing a lot of people referring to it as Transgender Day of Resilience.

I’m not really sure quite what to say about it today. I feel like today, more than ever before, the resilience is the most important aspect to keep in mind.

Continue reading Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience

15 Months on T, 2 Months Since Top Surgery

It’s hard to remember that’s its only been just over 2 months since my top surgery and that my progress is still an ongoing thing. It’s much easier to look at the pictures online of guys who’ve had years of recovery since their surgeries and wonder when mine will start to look “normal”. Continue reading 15 Months on T, 2 Months Since Top Surgery

Requisite Christmas Scrooging and Whining

So in my experience there are two types of people around this time of the year: People like Melissa who love the holidays – these people drank the proverbial Kool Aid (or eggnog, I guess) and they’re all about Christmas from Black Friday til New Year’s Day.

Then there’s people like me – I hate everything between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I am admittedly a bit of a Scrooge.

It has a lot to do with my family, though not in the way that many trans* people have to worry about. I know a lot of us see the holidays as a time we’re forced to spend time with a family that doesn’t respect us, our pronouns, our lifestyles or our choices. For me, it’s not about that. The little bit of family that I have left in my life has been wonderfully supportive and respectful, even if they don’t agree with my decisions, and I truly can’t ask for more than that.  Continue reading Requisite Christmas Scrooging and Whining