#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

#TransForTheHolidays Update

Hey everyone,

Just a quick update about the status of the project!

Donations: We’ve been getting donations, mostly from friends and family, but it will cover our requests for the time being. I’ve set up an Amazon Wishlist with ideas for items we’ll need for care packs. If there’s something you’d like to give that’s not on the list, or you can’t quite manage the bulk packs I have listed, send an email to TransForTheHolidays@gmail.com and I’ll help you get something to us. I have tried to select companies that have shown support for the LGBT community in general and trans people in particular. Many of the products are Procter & Gamble, the parent company behind Secret. We’re also planning to get products we don’t get from Amazon primarily at Target, as they’ve chosen to stand by our community despite boycotts and backlash.

Ask for Help: We’ve gotten a few responses, which has been awesome. We’re going to be getting our first few care packs together and out this week. If you need help, please fill out the brief survey and we’ll be happy to do what we can to help you out. If there’s something in particular that you need or are having trouble getting, let us know and we’ll do our best. For those of you that have already asked for help: I just want you to know that I know how hard it can be to ask for help and I think you’re the bravest people on the planet. You’re loved.

Signal Boost: Keep sharing the message! So far it’s mostly been friends or friends of friends, but I’m starting to see people looking from all over, so I know the word’s getting out. Help me help people this holiday season. Keep posting, and using #TransForTheHolidays to get the signal out. Set your post to public on social media so everyone can share it. We’ve been talking with a big non-profit that has experience executing these types of projects in hopes of a partnership and possible expansion into a year-round program. I’m looking forward to being able to share that news with you when we know more.

The main page for the project is here: #TransForTheHolidays, but I link back to these updates, too.

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

It’s Been a While

It’s been a while since I’ve written. To be honest – I needed a bit of a mental health break. Writing on this blog was no longer providing the sort of outlet that I needed and had started to feel like more of an obligation than a help.

With the results of the election weighing heavy, I’ve found myself starting snippets of writing and not finding a finish lately, so I think it’s time to redirect myself to this blog, and to developing a social media presence in general. I’m feeling pulled toward politics and activism more now than I ever have in the past, but I’m conflicted on where and how to start. For the time being, it’ll have to be toward my initial reactions to this election as a whole:  Continue reading It’s Been a While

Top Surgery Follow Up

So like I said in my last post, I had my follow up with Dr. Leis. He’s also not at all pleased with the amount of loose skin. He attributes it to my weight loss. At my heaviest, I was 265lbs and I’m down to 205lbs. I’m also down to about 15% body fat, but as most former fat kids will tell you: that kind of fat loss comes with damage to the skin’s elasticity. He had anticipated the skin bouncing back a little better than it did, so i’m left with a fair bit of loose skin and a general lack of definition. Continue reading Top Surgery Follow Up