My name is Aydan O’Connor and I am a transman. Unlike most of the stories that you see on the internet about transgender people coming out or transitioning, I lost nearly all of my birth family when I made the decision to transition. Though, if I’m going to be honest, it was a choice to live vs die rather than transition or not. In March of 2013 I chose life and started to transition medically, which is to say that I began hormone replacement therapy. This was one of the most exciting and yet devastating choices I’ve ever made in my life because while it allowed me to finally start on the path to become the person I had been inside all my life, it also meant I no long had contact with either of my parents or my siblings with the exception of my younger brother.
My parents kicked me, my fiancée (now my wife), and our two children out of a home that we had helped pay for (we were stupid enough to let them put everything in their name) and we left to live week to week in a hotel room for months. We ended up moving from Arkansas, where my parents live, to Virginia, where my wife’s mother lives, so that we would have a place to stay and not be on the streets with two children.
My wife and I are both disabled, she has fibromyalgia and I am on the autistic spectrum. I do what work I can do when I find it; however, because of the culmination of my status as a transman, my autism, and the fact that I have a now four year streak of unemployment in my work history, finding any work that I can do that is gainful is impossible. I am trying to find a business that I can run from home to bring in money, but thus far I’ve come up short. I have tried crafts, t-shirts, web design, writing, but nothing seems to be a solid job.
This is beyond frustrating for two reasons:
First, I feel like I’m a complete waste, while I do all the repairs, yard work, and other work around the house for a place to stay I don’t ever have any money of my own to contribute to the house. The hardest part of this is the fact that no matter how much I want to help; it usually ends up in a complete meltdown at jobs. Even when I try to explain to my supervisors or managers that I have severe social anxiety I’m told that I’m just using it as a crutch, and basically to get over it. So much for making accommodations for someone with a disability, it’s almost as if because the disability I have is invisible, it must not exist.
Secondly, right now this is the reason that’s causing me to want to pull out my fair and cry, my younger brother has invited me to stay with him for a month when he gets married. The only person in my birth family that has continued to keep in contact with after my transition wants me to attend his wedding and spend a month with him and his wife. The only problem is they live in Vietnam and the plane ticket alone is going to cost over $1500. My younger brother is the only one of my siblings to invite me to their wedding. (I have two older half-brothers, an older half-sister, an older brother, a younger brother and a younger sister. A grand total of seven of us, though I didn’t grow up with my half-brothers and half-sister.) He’s the only one that has tried to understand about me being transgender and work through “losing a sister” in his own way and accept me as his brother.
So this is where I break down, push my pride aside and truly beg for help rather than asking. I am begging for help with the trip to Vietnam (I won’t have to worry about housing while I’m there because I’m staying with my brother.) but I need help with the plane ticket, getting a passport and a VISA. I would be leaving towards the end of August and come back in around a month’s time. This would put me back home around the end of September or early beginning of October at the very latest. I have to be back in the US before October 10th, because it is my wife’s and I wedding anniversary.
Please, if anyone can help, I’d appreciate it more than I could ever begin to express. Words would fall short in comparison to the gratitude that I would have for anyone and everyone if this could happen. I would love nothing more than to be able to attend my little brother’s wedding and have the opportunity to see him for the first time in two years and be able to meet my new sister-in-law. I’ll be launching a teespring campaign to help as well and doing everything that I can do to raise the funds myself as much as possible.
If you can’t donate, would you please consider sharing this link around? I would be grateful beyond words. Thank you.
Aydan K. O’Connor