Scholar Jake Rostovsky Starts Transgender Nonprofit

Ever since I transitioned, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping the transgender community in all possible ways. Since I was fifteen I’ve wanted to work in the transgender community, trying to help individuals less fortunate than me. Realizing how expensive the cost of transitioning is, and how many insurance companies don’t cover any medical related expenses, I knew someone had to help those who couldn’t afford to transition.

Point Scholar Jacob Rostovsky received the Rolf/Uribe Leadership Award at the Models of Pride Conference on October 13. He was nominated for the award by his mentor, Alan Guno.

Point Scholar Jacob Rostovsky received the Rolf/Uribe Leadership Award at the Models of Pride Conference on October 13, 2012 . He was nominated for the award by his mentor, Alan Guno.

Once a person medically transitions, their entire life changes. They are happier, confident and hopeful. For some people this is the first time in their lives they’ve felt like this. I don’t want anyone to be held back from giving the world their all and reaching their full potential just because they can’t afford to transition. While many transgender individuals know that transition is the right path, and are eager to get started, their financial situations hold them back. By not being able to transition, a trans person gets stuck and does not feel like they have the strength and motivation to continue living their lives to the fullest.

My soon to be non-profit, Trans United with Family and Friends (TUFF), will change the transgender community and help to better so many lives, especially those of our at risk youth. TUFF is a Los Angeles based non-profit organization that gives financial assistance to transgender and gender variant individuals, which can be used towards the cost of transition and medical needs. The money is distributed on an as needed basis. Recipients must apply for an award, and are chosen based on their financial need, personal, social, and advocacy goals for the future.

I am currently holding a fundraiser online so that I can raise enough money to file the paperwork necessary to establish a 501c3 nonprofit.  As soon as the paper work is filed, I can begin raising money to give scholarships for transition costs. Right now, as Executive Director and founder of TUFF, I am using my own funds to pay to file paper work, purchase fliers, buttons, posters and travel across the country to various conferences and workshops to spread the word about TUFF.

As a college student, using my own income has proven to be extremely difficult and hard, especially when I also need to fund my education. By donating to this fundraiser, you can help launch TUFF and fulfill my dream of running and creating this non-profit. I know there are so many online campaigns asking you to donate. But this is an extremely important cause that can help save thousands of lives.

To find out more information regarding this fundraiser, you can visit www.gofundme.com/transunited or e-mail tufforg@gmail.com.

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This post was written by Jake Rostovsky, 2010 Point Honors LA Point Scholar
Jacob Rostovsky is majoring in psychology at American Jewish University. One of his goals in life is to help make the world more aware of the struggles transgender individuals go through, and to help eliminate the bigotry the LGBTQ community faces. Learn more about Jacob.