NYC artist crowdsources funds for reassignment surgery

 Shakina Nayfack, a transgender artist, is using crowdsourcing website youcaring.com to raise money for sexual reassignment surgery. Once Nayfack raises $  52,500, the artist will head to Thailand for the procedure, and “finally be able to live and enjoy my life in a body that makes sense to me.”

Marcus Santos /New York Daily News

Shakina Nayfack, a performance artist in New York City, is using crowdsourcing website YouCaring.com to raise $ 52,500 for her sex reassignment operation.

This Kickstarter-style campaign is actually a kickstart-her campaign.

Shakina Nayfack, a transgendered performing artist based in New York City, is using online fund-raising site YouCaring.com to collect $ 52,500 to complete her gender reassignment.

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It’s the first time a transgendered person has used an online fund-raising site to assist in a sex change operation, she said.

'Like any life-changing event, you can't do this on your own,' Shakina Nayfack said of her planned reassignment surgery. 'It takes a village.'

Marcus Santos /New York Daily News

‘Like any life-changing event, you can’t do this on your own,’ Shakina Nayfack said of her planned reassignment surgery. ‘It takes a village.’

“As a young artist, I’ve used online crowdsourcing campaigns to help my friends make albums, produce shows and make films,” the 32-year-old theater director told the News. Nayfack has been out as transgendered for more than 10 years.

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“In the last year and a half, I have stepped toward my medical transition, so I would joke to my friends, ‘I should go online and ‘kickstart’ my vagina!’”

Shakina was born Jared Nayfack, and grew up in conservative Orange County, Calif., where he was taunted, shoved and spat on for wearing nail polish, makeup and spiked heels to school.

YouCaring.com was originally created for people who need to raise money for cancer treatments, mission trips and adoptions. New York-based theater director Shakina Nayfack is using it to gather funds to complete her gender reassignment.

YouCaring.com was originally created for people who need to raise money for cancer treatments, mission trips and adoptions. New York-based theater director Shakina Nayfack is using it to gather funds to complete her gender reassignment.

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Eventually, Nayfack became a gay activist and choreographer at the University of California, Santa Cruz — and took the name Shakina, Hebrew for “presence of God” — on graduation day.

The imposing 6-foot-2-inch Californian moved to Washington Heights three years ago. She has already spent $ 10,000 on laser hair removal, electrolysis and a wardrobe befitting her gender.

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Shakina Nayfack performs Joe Iconis' 'Broadway, Here I Come!' in Mr. Finn's Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts.

Shakina Nayfack via YouTube

Shakina Nayfack performs Joe Iconis’ ‘Broadway, Here I Come!’ in Mr. Finn’s Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts.

Once she raises the $ 52,500 on YouCaring.com, Nayfack plans to go to the Supborn Clinic in Thailand, which has pioneered a certain sex reassignment procedure. She will also undergo a facial feminization surgery to “finally be able to live and enjoy my life in a body that makes sense to me.”

“Like any life-changing event, you can’t do this on your own,” she said. “It takes a village.”

So far, it’s a very small village; as of Sunday, Nayfack had raised $ 1,296.

A YouCaring.com spokesman said he found Nayfack’s fundraising page “disturbing” because the site was created for people needing to raise money for costly cancer treatments, mission trips and adoptions.

“[People] are going through different life circumstances, many times with things I could not possibly understand or necessarily agree with,” spokesman Brock Ketcher said.

Nayfact will promote her fund-raising efforts by performing “One Woman Show: A Work in Progress” at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 7. To donate to her YouCaring.com campaign, go to http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/kickstarther/103050.


Health – NY Daily News

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