“[I] felt like my body never belonged to me.”
Brick Boccuti is one of many who are speaking up about the hardships that come with living with gender dysphoria. Through the power of openness and vulnerability, Boccuti has shed some light on social media about the daily struggle of being in a body that doesn’t feel like your own—a concept still widely misunderstood and stigmatized.
The past year hasn’t been easy for any of us. Unfortunately, this sentiment rings especially true for Brick who, after surviving an attempt on their own life last October, is still healing from the incident—an issue that is extremely prevalent among those in this demographic. In fact, a study by the Williams Institute UCLA School Of Law found that over 40 percent of transgender adults have attempted suicide in their lifetime (2015).
But it’s more than a mental health issue. On a GoFundMe page, Boccuti described the physical toll this condition has taken: “I have extreme back pain, painful swelling of the breast tissue, soreness, and most importantly dysphoria surrounding my chest.” Like many from marginalized groups, doctors offered little help. Mental health officials prescribed medication for anxiety and depression that had resulted from the deeper issue at hand, but, as Brick put eloquently, “No undergarment or medication can cure the ailment of gender dysphoria.”
So he’s decided to take the life-changing step of having top surgery—a procedure proven to improve the quality of life for transgender individuals. But, like many young Americans, even while working two jobs seven days a week, the cost is still too great to carry alone. The surgery date is set for this coming April at the Cosmetic Concierge in North Carolina, and with spring quickly approaching, they’re reaching out to the community for help. Brick has already raised an astounding $3,000 on a previous campaign, but still has a little under $2,000 more to go on their current one. Donations can be made through GoFundMe, or by Venmo at BriBoc. They’re faithful that—like many trans people to undergo the process before them—gender-affirming care will serve as the catalyst for healing from a lifetime of pain.
We’re only offered one body in this lifetime. We all deserve for it to feel like home.