I am doing something I have been waiting for my whole life, I am transitioning. I have several surgeries coming up in the next 3 to 6 months and an additional one after that. One of the surgeries is to fix something that was messed up during a previous surgery. Each surgery will require recovery time. I would appreciate all the help anyone could offer. I don't have a lot of people in my life to help, so your support and donations mean a lot to me.
My name is Giselle Kurdi. I was born in Jordan to a strict Arabic-Muslim family. As you can imagine growing up there was very difficult, especially when you don’t identify as the assigned gender you were born to. It took a very long time to reach the level of self-acceptance and love that I now have for myself. Although it has been a difficult journey becoming the authentic me was unstoppable.
I moved to California when I was 15-years-old. I lived both with family members and then later foster families all of whom were very religious. I longed for peace, understanding, acceptance and love. Especially when I started to grow my hair out, wear makeup and female clothing.
It wasn’t until I visited SF did I finally identify with a community that seemed to completely understand. The LGBTQ community saved me in many ways. Finding ways to be authentic was encouraged, and ultimately I moved here. I have now been living in SF for 25 years.
I am Transgender. I was born in Jordan, Amman to a middle-class Arabic Muslim family, I lived in Amman till I was 15 years old. My family figured that sending me to live in America was the best way to get me away from them and away from the country that could have killed me for being a transgender. I miss my family and Jordan, but I am forbidden from going to Jordan and from talking to my family - I am basically disowned. So my life has been quite a struggle filled with depression, anger, and other mental issues that developed from being rejected by people who were supposed to love me. Living in America is a blessing, but the experience of having to leave my family and country because of who I am was traumatizing and I began having feelings of self-sabotage that led me to use meth because it gave me an escape from my troubled self through temporary good feelings.Drugs are obviously not an answer to any of my problems so had to stop after years of struggle with them. I have been sober for 1 year now and I am working on stabilizing myself with spiritual practices and support from friends. I recently joined NA and FSA, which is the oldest mental health institute in San Francisco. There, I have excellent case manager and therapist, and a psychiatrist. I am on new medication, which has been helping me. Because of all the issues and abuse I have experienced in my past I now struggle with anxiety, depression, and various other behavioral issues. But luckily, being sober and getting on medication and getting housing has really helped me get a lot better and I am a lot more stable now than ever.
I would really like to work on myself and my healing, for the first time I am trying to take care of my spirit and my mind and it feels really good to be able to do this for myself. I have always felt like I needed a savior to help me, but recently I have found that I am my own savior. I am confident that once I get my citizenship and can begin working things will really fall into place for me.
Time heals wounds. I still speak to my mother and other family members although I can never return to Jordan. The culture there is very different then American culture, and although it is sad, it something I have learned to both accept and understand. I’m lucky and loved in many ways. Most Trans individuals I speak to have no connection to their parents or families any more.
Once I made the decision to move forward with sexual reassignment surgery a weight was lifted. Things just started to become clearer. I scheduled my appointment with you. I brought my friend Megan as support, and I waited for the call. Three years you told me. I figured I have been waiting a long time, three more years I could do. The phone rang a year in a half later.
The next two months will change my life forever. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for everything.
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