A South Portland developer has created Trascapsule, a new app that will help transgender people document their transition journeys. Courtesy / Tobey Tozier

SOUTH PORTLAND — When Tobey Tozier began his journey to become a transgender man six years ago, he noticed there wasn’t an easy or helpful way to document his transition, so he decided it made sense to invent one.

Now, the South Portland developer is raising funds through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo for Transcapsule, a new app for transgender people like him. According to a 2016 study from the University of California at Los Angeles, approximately 1.4 million people identify as transgender in the U.S., with 5,350 of those people living in Maine.

“It’s important to make people feel a little less isolated, that there’s something that’s been built just for them,” he said.

The app will allow users to upload photos, keep a diary of their journey, set key reminders and celebrate milestones. Tozier noted there are plenty of other ways, including other apps, that do some of these things, but he noticed “the lack of any tool to document the whole experience in any one place.”

Tozier, 28, a graphic designer, said the work started about four years ago, when he conducted a survey of 150 transgender people, and found that most of the respondents agreed with him that there was no one place to do all of these things.

“I really found that that’s the common thread,” he said.

Tozier said he also wants the app to help improve transgender health. He said users will be able to choose to share data anonymously about their experience, allowing the app to collect information that will then be used to better document the health care needs of transgender people.

For that part of the app, Tozier has collaborated with the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Health Equity Research Collaborative at Harvard University. Co-director Sabra Katz-Wise said the app can collect data such as “gender-affirming medication adherence, satisfaction with gender-affirming treatment, mental health symptoms (and) other symptoms related to gender affirming treatments.”

Katz-Wise said this is the first app of its kind to her knowledge, and said the app is also noteworthy for its potential to help with transgender health.

“Few virtual spaces exist that are designed specifically for (and by) the transgender community,” she said. “This app has the potential to contribute to transgender health research efforts by collecting data directly from a large diverse sample that is more representative of the broader transgender community.”

This week, Tozier said the campaign has raised 33% of the $10,000 he needs to raise by the Nov. 12 deadline to go live with the app. Users will pay $5 per month, and Tozier said he has plans to expand the app’s offerings to include community building, where users will be able to interact with each other for support. Tozier also plans to link the app to other resources for transgender people.

To learn more about the campaign, visit indiegogo.com/projects/transcapsule-transgender-transition-tracking-app–2#/.

Sean Murphy 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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