It is commonly said that the end goal in life is to be happy. However, when my parents told me in my adolescent years, “We just want you to be happy,” their definition of daily and ultimate “happiness” did not include queerness or gender transition. When I finally made it out of the house and moved to college in Wisconsin, I could live as Cael 24 hours a day for the first time in my life. Every now and then, when I nearly forget how far I’ve come, I recall those first weeks, where it dawned on me that each day, I could simply get dressed. I am ready for the next step. I am ready for my body to be wholly my own inside and out. I am ready to be happy.
“Thank you to the donors and volunteers of the Jim Collins Foundation, and to the friends and family who donated to my brief GoFundMe campaigns in the past, for making top surgery, what felt like an unattainable dream, possible in my near future. In all its forms, your support has changed and saved my life.”