LEON FINLEY X LACTIC
LACTIC is pleased to present a collaboration with Leon Finley, in which we designed and produced a limited edition run of three bags to raise the money necessary for Leon to get top surgery. We began the process with a series of crayon drawings Leon had made and worked to translate them into fabric pieces. We thought that making bags would be a good way to express gratitude to people contributing, but also be an intimate and useful object. Each bag has been thoughtfully designed and uniquely constructed by our hands so that each one is an exclusive, one-of-a-kind experience. Check out the video below to hear Leon's story and learn about our collaborative process!
The bags will be available for purchase from November 15th – December 15th 2014 and will be shipped out in time to arrive for Christmas. All proceeds we raise over our goal will go to the Jim Collins Foundation, which raises money to pay for surgeries for trans people without financial resources.
UPDATE: The bag sales were such a success that we raised $1500 over our goal allowing us to make three $500 donations to sublimate the costs of other top surgeries. All of the bags are currently sold out, but can be viewed on the e-store: CLICK HERE.
A word from Leon Finley...
I came out as transgender in June 2013 and began my transition from female to male. There has always been a hidden part of me that knew this was my path. But I was afraid of what transitioning would mean and thought I could try to live as a woman to avoid the difficulty and pain that I imagined transitioning would bring. As time went on, it proved to be more painful and difficult to continue living in the wrong gender. I reached a breaking point and finally found the courage to be honest with myself and others. I am a man! I have always been male! It has been a powerful and liberating experience to finally live honestly and allow myself to be who I truly am.
As I take steps in my transition I begin to feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. I cannot express the joy and relief I feel as my voice begins to lower and my body begins to change as a result of taking testosterone. Each step I have taken towards transitioning has given me a new freedom and comfort. Top surgery is one of the biggest steps I will take on my transition. I will never forget how I felt the first time I wore a binder to flatten my chest. I finally felt comfortable in my body, I finally felt like it was my own body. But binders are uncomfortable and temporary. I am so excited to have this surgery, which will leave me with a male chest and a body that reflects who I am.
My surgery is scheduled for January 8th 2015 with a fantastic surgeon in Florida who specializes in female to male top surgery. The total cost for my surgery including travel and hotel expenses is around 10,000. I still need to raise around 3,000 before January to get the surgery. Many people consider this to be medically necessary surgery, and therefore something that should be covered by insurance. In fact, many insurance companies are starting to cover gender-affirming surgeries. Most, however, including my insurance company, believe that this is a cosmetic and unnecessary procedure. Randi and I have collaborated on a limited edition series of bags to raise the money I still need, so we hope you will look at them and think about buying one!
I cannot adequately express my gratitude for your support, so I will just have to say---
- Leon Finley
To see press from the Leon x Lactic Party and Runway Presentation click here---