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Annual Trans Surgery Fund

About the program

Point of Pride’s Annual Transgender Surgery Fund is a scholarship-like program that provides direct financial assistance to trans folks who cannot afford their gender-affirming surgery.

Requirements

We have very few requirements in an effort to be as inclusive as possible:

  • You identify as transgender (FTM, MTF, non-binary, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and all other non-cis identities).
  • You are 18 years of age or older at the time of your surgery, or have consent from your legal guardian(s) and health care provider(s).
  • You have financial need that prevents you from affording gender-affirming surgery.
  • You can demonstrate past attempts at affording care (i.e. saving money, fundraising, attempting to get insurance coverage).
  • You agree to complete your surgery within 18 months of receiving a grant.
  • You complete your surgery in the United States with a US-based surgeon.

2017 recipient Gabriel (center) with Point of Pride leadership & volunteers

2017 recipient Gabriel (center) with Point of Pride leadership & volunteers

Self-Assessment

This program is intended to help trans folks who otherwise can not afford gender-affirming surgery. We ask that you consider your access to healthcare before applying for this grant. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have health insurance coverage that is trans-inclusive?
  • If not, do you quality for Medicaid? (Learn more)
  • Are you employed and able to save some money towards surgery?
  • Do you identify as white, or do you experience white/light-skinned privilege?

If you answered YES to most of these questions, you may consider making space for our trans siblings who mostly answered NO. (Even if you answer YES to most or all of these questions, you are still eligible to apply.)

Application Process

Applications are open beginning November 1. The deadline to apply is November 30 by 11:59pm EST. All applications must be submitted online via the form on this page.

  1. Carefully read this page, especially our Frequently Asked Questions section.
  2. Review our Instruction Packet, which walks you through each question of the application form.
  3. Submit your application via the Google form at the bottom of this page.
  4. Once the application period ends, our Board of Directors and team of Community Grantmaking Fellows (trained volunteers) evaluate each and every application received. This process is necessarily difficult and time-intensive, so thank you for your patience! 
  5. If you are selected as a finalist, you will be contacted in mid-January via email to submit the second part of the application, which may include additional writing samples, a letter of recommendation, and/or a brief phone or online interview.  (Note: You should not ask for a letter of recommendation at the time you apply, but you may want to think about who you could ask in the future in the event you’re selected as a finalist. Letters can be from a medical professional, family, friend, employer, community contact, or someone else.) You will have several weeks to respond and submit these additional materials.
  6. If you are selected as a recipient, we will contact you again via email or phone regarding next steps.

If you are not selected as a finalist or recipient, we will notify you via email, and you are welcome to apply again for our next application cycle. (Note: Our team stores your application materials for a full year, and we continue to pair candidates with financial assistance as we receive grants, resources, and new opportunities. You may be contacted later in the year via email. Review our Privacy Policy.)

Surgery Fund recipients Cairo and Leah

Left: 2018 recipient Cairo following gender-affirming top surgery; Right: 2018 recipient Leah shared she felt “like a whole person” following her facial feminization surgery

FAQs

"Is ____ an eligible procedure?"

Yes. We accept applications for any gender-affirming procedure. For surgeries that are multi-step or consist of several procedures (such as facial feminization surgery), this grant will cover only those procedures that can be performed on a single surgery date.

"Can I apply if I have health insurance?"

Yes. Please note this information in your application.

"Can I apply if I'm not 18 years old?"

Yes, but only if you have consent from your guardian(s) and a chosen surgeon. Please note that you have consent in the written responses of your application. If you are selected as a finalist, we will contact you to request signed documentation from your guardian(s) and surgeon.

"Can I snail-mail you my application?"

No, we can not accept any materials sent through the mail. All documents must be uploaded via our online form.

"Can I apply if I live in a different country?"

Yes, you are welcome to apply for the Surgery Fund if you live outside the U.S. However, due to our non-profit status, all surgeries must be performed in the United States and its territories. That means in order to apply, you have to be physically and financially able to travel to the United States for your care. (At this time, Point of Pride grants cover surgical fees and cannot be applied to travel, lodging, or other logistical expenses.)

"Can I apply to pay back medical loans/expenses for a surgery I’ve already had?"

We understand the challenges of debt and medical loans that so many of us deal with in order to afford care. Unfortunately, no; you must apply for financial aid towards a future surgery. Our grants are paid directly to health care providers specifically for the procedure itself, before it takes place.

"Do I need a letter of recommendation?"

You do not need to have a letter of recommendation at the time you apply, but if you are selected as a finalist, you will be invited to send us an optional letter of recommendation. This letter may be written by a medical professional, family member, friend, employer, community contact or someone else.

"When will I receive a response about my application?"

You will receive an email from an "@pointofpride.org" account by late January. (Please check your spam folder and the quota limit on your inbox to make sure it hasn’t been filtered or bounced back. You may need to search for email accounts that end in “@pointofpride.org” or update your settings to allow emails from “@pointofpride.org” accounts.)

"When are recipients selected?"

Typically, recipients are selected and announced in late February or early March. We are a volunteer-operated non-profit, so sometimes it can take longer as we process the high volume of applications. We appreciate your patience!

"Can the grant be applied towards travel, lodging, or other expenses before, during, or after surgery?"

We understand the challenges of debt and medical loans that so many of us deal with in order to afford care. Unfortunately, no; at this time, our grants are paid directly to health care providers specifically for the procedure itself, before it takes place. We cannot apply grant awards toward transportation, lodging, general expenses or (for international applicants) getting a visa and other logistical expenses.

"How can I submit a high-quality application?"

We strongly encourage you to review our Instruction Packet, which walks you through each question of the application with tips. Ultimately, our reviewers are looking for thorough responses that answer each question with specific examples and detailed explanations. 

"Can you help me find a surgeon?"

Unfortunately, no. Our team does not have the expertise or ability to provide referrals or recommendations for trans-affirming surgeons. Every person's surgery goals and priorities are unique. So many factors – a given surgeon's specialty or expertise, the procedure type that's right for you, whether or not you're willing/able to travel for surgery – means that finding a surgeon is a highly individualized decision. Therefore, you will ultimately be the best judge of who your provider should be. We recommend that you reach out to local LGBTQ+ centers and trans support groups, as well as your current healthcare providers and/or insurance company (if applicable), for recommendations to help you as you research.

"Can I apply if I have already scheduled my surgery?"

Yes; if you have a surgery date scheduled, there is an option to include that in your application. Because of the time it takes our volunteers to review the high number of applications we receive each year, however, we can not fund applicants who are having surgery in the months of November–February of the current cycle. So, when you submit an application in November, your surgery would need to be scheduled on or after March 1 of the following year in order to receive funding.

"Can I submit an application on behalf of someone else?"

We recognize there may be barriers that prevent someone from submitting an application on their own without help. You may submit an application on behalf of someone else only if you are working directly with the applicant and clearly reference their involvement in completing the application. (For example, if you are providing technological support, language translation, or other assistance on behalf of the applicant, please note your role and that the applicant is still the primary author of their responses.) However, you may not submit an application without the applicant's involvement. (For example, applying for a loved one without their knowledge.) While we understand the desire to surprise someone with a grant, our process builds on the fundamental idea that trans people are our own best advocates: we want to ensure that this belief is reflected throughout the application process.

Apply

Applications are currently closed; the next application period will begin on November 1, 2022. Please stay tuned for future updates.