Gender affirming surgery is a topic that does not often cross the minds, or honestly even the news feeds, of the general population of Houston. Most insurance companies do not cover the surgery, even if the person in question has any coverage at all (most of us artists do not). But for many of my trans siblings, these procedures are necessary for their survival and mental health.

Many of us want this surgery so we can “pass.”

What does it mean to “pass”? Passing means that trans individuals are perceived by cis-heteronormative communities, or any trade, as their gender, and it means that they do not have to worry about getting attacked in the bathroom or any other public place for being who they are.

For some, this means facial feminization/masculinization surgery or chondrolaryngoplasty. There are also top surgeries, bottom surgeries, and everything in between that some members of our trans community want to get done in order to feel more like their true selves and aid in their ability to “pass.”

Before even getting to any of that, trans people must first receive extensive psychological evaluations and go through a slew of hormone therapies. It’s a painful and expensive process. If someone needs every single procedure, they are often looking at costs well up to and over one hundred thousand dollars.

Not every trans person requires or wants affirmation through surgery — everyone’s experience is different. For those of us in the community who do require surgery, we often reach out for help covering costs, and GoFundMe pages for such surgeries are often shared through Instagram stories and Facebook posts.

We at Byline Houston want to help support the Texas trans community by making their voices louder, in part because some of us here at Byline Houston are also trans. Once a month, Byline Houston will help raise awareness about a member of the Texas trans community in need of monetary assistance for their gender affirmation surgery.

This month, we’ve chosen to feature Josue Hart. Josue is a talented clothing designer who makes her home in Austin, and she’s a cut above the rest. Her avant-garde creations have been lovingly worn by fashionable folks like prominent House of Kenzo member Ledef, who has flashed her cute threads from Houston to Warsaw and beyond.

You can follow Josue’s progress and life at @asapparasite (for clothing commissions please follow @parasitehilton).

Please consider stopping by Josue’s GoFundMe page to read her story and make a donation to her fund. We want to help this beautiful human being along in her path to feel more like her true self!