A man has become the first person to use a crowd-funding website to raise money to pay for a sex change operation.
Shakina Nayfack, was born Jared Nayfack in Orange County, California, where he faced years of abuse from people for wearing nail polish and dressing high heels.
The performance artist, 32, who now lives in New York, wants to raise $52,500 to pay for the sexual realignment surgery in a Thai clinic.
She has already spent $10,000 on laser hair removal, electrolysis and hormone replacement theory during her transition from 6ft 2ins, tattooed man to a woman.
Appealing through the website YouCaring.com, she said: ‘I have been out as trans since 2001, but only decided to undergo a full gender transition toward the end of 2012.
‘I decided to launch this campaign to raise the the money I need to finish my transition.
‘”KickStartHer” might be the world’s first ever crowd-funded sex change!’
Ms Nayfack, a theater director, said that she was used to appealing for money for artistic works through crowd-funding sites so decided to see if it would work to pay for her surgery.
She told the New York Daily News: ‘I would joke to my friends, ‘I should go online and “kickstart” my vagina!’”
She has already conducted found a clinic in Thailand and a surgeon to perform the operation.
She said: ‘Dr. Supborn has pioneered a completely different procedure for Male-to-Female sexual reassignment.
‘I also think it would be amazing to learn Thai massage and volunteer at a sanctuary for abused elephants once I’ve recovered!’
Ms Nayfack has so far managed to raise nearly $1,300 thanks to 30 donors and has 288 days left to reach her total.
She has also set out a breakdown of how the $52,500 would be spent for any potential donors.
‘Travel to/from Thailand, (NYC-Bangcok, $2,000), At the Supbon clinic in Chonburi, Thailand: Sexual Reassignment Surgery ($18,000), Facial Feminization Surgery ($28,000), Surgery fees include hospital stay, 7 nights after SRS, 5 nights after FFS. Hotel in Thailand, $50/night for 30 additional nights (6 weeks total recovery time, $1500), Food/Travel within Thailand ($3,000). TOTAL: $77,500’, she said.
‘If I raise more than my initial goal to cover the surgeries, I will use it to pay for my remaining electrolysis here in the USA (200 hours, face and chest, $25,000), and ongoing medical expenses like hormone therapy, counseling, also physical therapy for my recovery.
‘Thanks again for taking the time to check out my page. Any and all support, even just moral, is appreciated!