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Meet Arlo


Arlo's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Arlo (he/him) is a transgender man residing in Kentucky who is actively seeking top surgery. With a professional background as a State-certified peer support specialist, Arlo is deeply committed to assisting others, but his most significant source of pride is his role as a loving father to four incredible children. Despite facing financial constraints due to limited income and the exclusion of gender-affirming surgery from Kentucky Medicaid coverage, Arlo remains determined to access the care he needs. Alongside his personal journey, Arlo is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, proudly representing as a queer trans father in rural Kentucky. He dedicates his time to promoting inclusivity, volunteering, and advocating for civil rights.

"I spent my entire life thinking that I didn't deserve to be happy,  I know now that I deserve that and so much more. I'm finally embracing my true self. Living as someone you're not is incredibly difficult, and I am so excited that I am being given the opportunity to have my surgery. I will be able to face the world as my authentic self without the constant pain of binding. Every aspect of it fills me with excitement and anticipation. from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU"

Arlo's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Arlo was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Consultation Date

    May 3, 2024

    Arlo had a consultation with Dr. Drake!

Grant details

$8,125 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

On average, it costs $12,000+ for Arlo's care.

What is it?

FTM/N top surgery is a surgical procedure that removes breast tissue and reshapes the chest contour to create a more traditionally masculine or gender-neutral appearance.

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

Prior to care, many trans masc people experience dysphoria that impacts their daily life. One of the most common and heartbreaking experiences we hear from applicants is that they cannot give hugs to their loved ones without feeling intense distress with their chest. In addition, reliance on chest binding can cause strain over long periods of time.

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

While top surgery is often categorized as a covered benefit in many insurance plans, the reality is that it's frequently denied coverage. Many people report unsuccessful attempts to appeal for coverage. In addition, finding skilled surgeons experienced in performing top surgery can be extremely challenging, particularly in states and regions most affected by anti-trans healthcare legislation.

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

Many trans folks who undergo top surgery report massive improvements to their overall well-being and mental health, leading to increased confidence and more comfort in relationships, navigating public spaces, and more.