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Meet Armaan

Armaan's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Armaan (he/him) is a trans man from Washington. Armaan’s application was so moving that he received almost unanimous support from the Board to name him as a finalist. 

“My financial need is largely because of my coming out crisis with my family. I came out to them two years ago, and told them about my $3,000 savings for surgery, which I needed and wanted so devotedly… From there, my situation lost control. I was rejected by my family and forced to attend conversion therapy out of state… I was forced to use my savings to take care of my needs and my education.

Since getting out of conversion therapy, I now attend college college where I have tremendous support. I have restarted my savings from square one. Currently, I am a full-time college student attending University of Washington Bothell and work on campus as a Social Justice Organizer to focus on creating a diverse and safe environment.

To boost my savings, I also took off campus jobs, and despite my increasing expenses, I managed to again save around $2,000 for my surgery. I still work hard, joggle multiple jobs while going to school only because my body needs this more than anything. The money I lost while going through my family crisis changed my life, and despite my savings as a student working full time, I need assistance very intensely to make ends meet.

I am a Punjabi Indian trans man of color. My community is deeply conservative and lacks space for men like me. I do not know a single queer or trans person, which often times leaves me heartbroken. It is one of the most soul-crushing feelings in the world, especially now that my family seems so distant to my reality…

So, I will continue my work to build communities for folks in an effort to protect them from what I have to feel. Currently, I give back to my community through my activism on campus. I primarily focus on creating events on campus that provide a safe space for dialogue on queer and trans issues, and help these folks find a community on campus. Just recently I organized a Dine and Dialogue entitled “Say Hi to Bi- Understanding Bisexuality 101” that intended to break stereotypes around bisexuality.

I know my body like no one else and I cannot emphasize enough how badly my soul is yearning to be set free. To go back home, to work out in the day, to spend more time outside and not in my room trying to hide my body. It is not that I hate my body – in my culture, we see bodies as temples where you find peace, but in 21 one years my temple hasn’t felt that. I am craving that feeling.”

Armaan's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 11, 2017

    Armaan was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    September 22, 2017

    Armaan successfully completed surgery with Dr. Mangubat.

Grant details

$6,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

On average, it costs $12,000+ for Armaan'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.