The short and sweet version is this: I’m a Queer Trans Woman trying to pay for Graduate School. I’ve been Admitted to NYU to study Mechanical Engineering. If I can’t afford it, not only am I not able to attend school, I would have to leave the country as well, since my F-1 visa is only valid whilst in school. Supporting me is supporting Queer and Trans people in STEM and also helping a Trans Woman stay in the only place she’s ever been able to call home.
The long version goes like this:
I’ve been living in the US for five years, I did my Undergrad here. I realized I was trans here. I made the best friends I’ve ever had here. After college I moved to NYC to start my transition. I’ve now been on HRT 3 months and am presenting as my gender full time.
When I moved I thought I’d be able to go on Optional Practical Training (a Work permit for International Students) and get a job to finance my transition. When I was denied OPT, I had to adjust my goals until reaching the point where I’m willing to do anything just to stay. I was planning on taking a couple years before attending Grad School, but I pushed that forward in order to stay in the country.
I applied to the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering for the Mechanical Engineering program. I applied under my name and gender, despite not having yet changed them legally, and I got accepted! However, now I may have to be forced not to attend due to lack of funding.
As an International student, any form of Federal aid is barred from me, including Fafsa and Federal Student Loans. A large number of non-federal forms of aid are also barred or available at increased difficulty, for instance, I’m trying to obtain a private student loan, which is often easy for Grad Students, but I’m required to have mine cosigned by an U.S. Citizen of which I know none with good credit.
All the money donated will be used to pay for tuition. The current goal will only cover one semester. If the campaign is successful, I may raise the goal to cover other semesters. It is a 2 year (4 semester) program.
Please, consider donating anything you can or at the very least signal Boosting. I would like to reiterate that, for me, going to school means more than continuing my education and adding to the lacking Queer presence in STEM. It also means survival, since New York, for all its issues, is the only place I’ve ever felt safe and welcomed. It’s a feeling no one should ever have to give away.
aisling is a legitimately wonderful person, you should give her your $$$$$