My name is Steffeny Messinger. I'm 33 years old, an independent musician, and as you may have noticed in the above video, I am a transgender woman.
I don't know exactly how to word this, so I'm just going to speak from the heart.
As a transgender woman, I am in the process of what is known as 'transitioning', which is a long and costly adventure. I have a feminine appearance, but my voice is what most would consider masculine due to my (for lack of a better term) physically male body. Because of this, I have trouble doing everyday tasks that most people would take for granted. As a result, I have become limited to the confines of my home, or if by chance I do find enough courage to leave the house, I cannot speak in public for fear of judgment, harassment, or worse.
I've put in countless hours and extensive research on how to feminize my voice. There are a couple of options. The first, being vocal therapy over an extended period of time, but it only goes so far. You have to consciously retain your altered voice and it still can't mask involuntary reflexes such as coughing or sneezing. The second option, is vocal feminization surgery; a minimally invasive procedure which involves shortening the vocal chords to achieve a higher and feminine pitch.
Here's an example:
And here's the medical definition if you're interested in finding out more information about the procedure:
The surgery's cost is dependent upon a medical evaluation, but ranges from $7,000 minimum to $10,000 maximum. I am simply asking for the minimum as I feel 7k is already a great deal of money to raise in itself.
As an independent musician, I barely make enough to sustain myself, let alone finance this very necessary, life-affirming procedure.
Friends. Family. Fans. LGBT folks. Complete strangers that somehow stumbled across this fundraiser and might be moved by my story. Please, anything would help. A dime, a dollar, a dozen. Or if you can't, please share this link with somebody that might be able to help.
Please find it in your heart, help me find my voice that I so desperately need to live a normal life.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.