National LGBTQ Organization Launches “TOP Notch,” a FundraIsing Initiative for Trans People Seeking Surgeries

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The Change Project, National LGBTQ Arts and Advocacy organization, supports transgender people seeking medical transition through shirt sales campaign.

What: In order to help offset the high costs of gender affirmation surgeries, The Change Project has launched TOP Notch (Trans Operation Project). Participants will be able to sell popular Change Project t-shirts through a customized storefront on the shop’s website, www.shopprogress.org, to raise funds for operations and medical transition. Participants will receive 50% of profits of shirts and merchandise.

When: Immediately

Where: Throughout the United States

Who: The Change Project, National LGBTQ Art and Advocacy Organization

Press Contact: Ethan Winters, TOP Notch Coordinator, topnotch@embodyprogress.org; Steven Romeo, Founder and Executive Director, steven@embodyprogress.org

Why:  Many transgender, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming people seek medical transition through avenues such as hormone replacement therapy, laser hair removal, chest reconstruction, and genital reconstruction. Very few transgender related procedures are covered by insurance, and many transgender folks have difficulty accessing insurance based care at all. Gender reassignment therapy can cost upwards of $30,000, hormone replacement therapy more than $1,000 a year,  and facial feminization procedures up to $60,000 (Bradford, 2015)

With the high prices and policy procedures that transgender people face, many are unable to receive the medical treatment and procedures that would help restore their feeling of wholeness and alignment with their identity. Through TOP Notch, The Change Project seeks to create pathways to funding procedures that would otherwise be out of reach, and budget, to trans people.

“It has always been my dream to provide space and assistance to transgender individuals, in a world that tells us we are not worthy to even use the bathroom we feel comfortable in. I get to influence this program and make it better for every single person to come after me, and every person who becomes a part of this program will have their experience transform this program and make it even better. That is why I believe in this program and that is why I am proud to be a participant and the coordinator.” -Ethan Winters, campaign participant and coordinator

References: Bradford, E. (2015, February 24). You Won't Believe How Much It Costs to Be Transgender in America. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://www.teenvogue.com/story/transgender-operations-hormone-therapy-costs