An incredible new resource is in the works in Chicago, Illinois, that will be a safe space for trans masculine individuals who are in recovery following gender confirmation surgery.
Rhys’s Place is intended to be a location of all-inclusive surgery recovery for trans masculine identified individuals. Currently engaged in a GoFundMe campaign, Rhys’s Place will be an apartment where trans people post-phalloplasty surgery have a place to spend the long recovery period. The initiative is pioneered by Rhys Harper, a photographer who has spent the last several years creating portraits and telling the stories of trans and gender-nonconforming people through “The Transcending Gender Project.”
“I think the most important takeaway for people regarding this space is that many trans people are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet,” Harper told The Huffington Post. “A space like this is truly groundbreaking -- it will be the first sliding scale place that exists, to my knowledge. There is a surgery recovery retreat called New Beginnings in Florida that hosts top surgery patients, and does provide some food, although it is not sliding scale. The vision for Rhys’s Place is that people will be able to come and access these services even if they cannot pay anything, at all.”
While not a medical facility, Harper told The Huffington Post that Rhys’s Place will function like a “specialized AirBnB.” There will be Netflix, Hulu and HBO, via Apple TV, high speed internet, nutritious meals and people who understand the experience of trans individuals -- all available and at the disposal of patients.
“A space like Rhys’s Place is desperately needed not just in Chicago, but all over. Specifically in regards to gender aligning surgery like phalloplasty, patients need to remain in the area on average for at least four weeks, and sometimes longer depending on surgical complications that may arise. “
The GoFundMe campaign is intended to fund the startup costs for the first year of Rhys's Place. Beyond that, payment for lodging at Rhys’s Place will operate on a sliding scale.
Thank you for this, Rhys.