In an alternate universe, where Covid never happened, I would have had top surgery on July 7th, 2020.
My name is Alexander Eli (he/him.) I'm a proud and open transmale musician and performer. When my former bandmates in TOMBOi, moved away from our hometown, I chose to stay and take a position as a bar manager at a music venue. I helped them build and integrate a full liquor program into their venue, all the while dealing with unrelenting dysphoria and transphobic patrons and staff. I stayed solely to save money for top surgery and medically transitioning. It took me two and a half years of planning and living very frugally to raise the $10k. Starting HRT alone cost me around $5k.
When Covid hit, Music venues were some of the first businesses too close and 'non-essential' surgeries were postponed. The only money I had was my top surgery fund. So I paid one month of bills, then two, then three....until all the money was gone. Being severely asthmatic with a pretty intense history with spouts of pneumonia, I honestly was terrified of not surviving a spout of Covid. Now I’m back to $0 in my top surgery fund and nowhere close to my goal.
Some days I feel an extreme since of grief for this reality. This time last year, I was in a very dark place, ready to tap out. Completely lost & over it. Pain, discomfort, loss and grief have been my constant teachers.Perseverance & Resilience constant themes, constantly a back handed compliment.....but we push on.... bc life is hard, life is precious, life is short.
I didn’t get to choose the body I arrived in, nor did I have any say on the gender I was assigned, but I absolutely refuse to be buried in this skin before I get top surgery.
So, here I am, arms open, feeling very vulnerable sharing my story and journey.
I can't express how overwhelming trying to function in the heat with a binder or tape on is. I can't leave my house without either, and I don't have the options to take breaks from binding during the days. This leaves me with nerve issues, constant back & shoulder pain, shortness of breath and stomach issues. I do my best to push through it all with a smile and being kind to myself. Some days I'm successful....some days I'm not.
I honestly don’t know how to plan or think of anything else. I have tunnel vision.
I will be releasing music and performing as, DADDY, also to raise money to achieve this goal. You can follow me on IG and Spotify
Your donation will go towards my pre-surgery doctor visits, surgery, post-op supplies and accommodations for my recovery.
I can't express all the feelings involved in this. I've always been better at processing emotions through music. I dream of the day I can perform on a stage without a binder, maybe even without a shirt.... with a lil' help from kind souls like you...maybe we can make that dream a reality.