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Meet Addison


Addison's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Addison (they/them) is a 48-year-old non-binary person from Indiana seeking a tracheal shave, a gender-affirming procedure that their insurance deems “cosmetic” and therefore not covered. Whenever they have saved up enough money to afford care, life has thrown a challenge Addison’s way, including an unexpected back injury, their car breaking down, and a tree falling and damaging the roof of their house.

Addison is very involved in their local queer community by teaching diversity classes, as well as serving on the board of directors for several non-binary support organizations. Public speaking in this way, while meaningful to Addison, causes them some distress: “When speaking in public, I get nervous and self-conscious about my inordinately large Adam’s apple… The dysphoria gets so bad. If my Adam’s apple was reduced, I know I would be much more confident about my appearance and that would translate into a better performance during my speaking engagements. This would allow me to help the local LGBTQ community better.”

Addison is also a proud parent and enjoys many different hobbies, including playing the tuba, bass guitar, and double bass, participating in roller derby, filming and editing videos on gender theory. But most of all, Addison loves to teach. “I know how to create a safe and comfortable space where people can learn and I use that talent as my activism. It doesn’t pay much, obviously, but there’s nothing like the feeling of helping people understand themselves and others just a little bit better.”

Addison's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 13, 2019

    Addison was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    October 23, 2019

    Addison has successfully completed surgery!

Grant details

$6,900 towards gender-affirming care.

About Tracheal Shave

On average, it costs $5,500+ for Addison's care.

What is it?

A tracheal shave is a surgical procedure performed to reduce the prominence of the Adam's apple (the bump in the front of the neck) in individuals who desire a more feminine neck contour.

What is life like for a person who needs this care?

Before care, trans femme folks may feel dysphoria or lowered self-esteem. For many trans women, a visible Adam's apple can out them as trans, which can lead to social rejection, harassment, and violence.

How accessible is it for trans folks to receive this care?

Tracheal shaves are generally considered to be cosmetic procedures, and so it is unlikely that health insurance will cover the cost. It can also be hard for trans femme folks to find trans-affirming surgeons in their region.

What is the impact of this care on the recipient’s life?

Many trans folks who undergo a tracheal shave report feeling more comfortable in their bodies and more aligned with their gender identity after the procedure. This often leads to improved mental health and overall well-being, as well as improved opportunities with employment and increased safety when in public spaces.