DEAR MISS MANNERS: Increasingly, as I scroll through social media, I see more and more GoFundMe pages. Many of the issues do require serious money, including funds for top surgery (removal of breasts for trans or nonbinary people), money for rent, insurance fees, mission trips and more.
Unfortunately, I feel unsympathetic and quite frustrated when these come across my page. Yes, I believe top surgery is a legitimate decision. I also believe it is an elective surgery, and asking for donations makes little sense. I would never ask for donations for a different elective surgery, like breast augmentation or liposuction.
We all have to pay rent. Just last month, when I struggled to pay my own rent, I applied for (and received) a housing hardship stipend and increased hours on my weekend job to make ends meet. If you didn’t want those insurance fees, you should have read the fine print before signing your name.
I wish there was some way to communicate that these fundraisers all seem like money grabs. Am I justified in my thoughts, or should I learn to be more sympathetic, and donate to these causes?
GENTLE READER: You are not likely to discourage money-grabbing as long as it works. So why are you even contemplating helping to make it work?
Distributing whatever funds you have available for charity by giving to whoever happens to ask is not the best way to support good causes. Unfortunately, many people feel pressured to do so, even if they sympathize less with augmenting breasts for the unendowed than with providing food for the hungry.