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Meet Blake


Blake's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Blake (he/him) is a 20-year-old Latino trans man and immigrant currently seeking top surgery. At this moment, he cannot yet work, apply for healthcare or government aid, or obtain a credit card, which has made obtaining his surgery impossible.

Blake is a university student on a partial scholarship. Any money that Blake has been able to earn has gone towards his tuition, or supporting his mom and family. There’s never been enough left to save towards the care he needs. “This has made life difficult. I had to learn to live with even less than what I already had.”

Blake has been described as a creative and curious person. He enjoys solving mathematical problems, learning how to program, and managing creative projects during his spare time. Blake also enjoys working on projects with other LGBTQ+ members of the community and he finds creating art a great way to express his story.Blake knows that top surgery will be a major milestone for him and that he will gain a newfound confidence. This surgery will help him resolve some of his dysphoria, and as a result, he will be more willing to open up to others. Blake is working towards a degree in Computer Science and hopes to one day publish his own video games and creative projects.

Blake's timeline

  • Award Granted

    June 21, 2021

    Blake was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    May 12, 2022

    Blake successfully completed surgery with Dr. Shiffrin!

Grant details

$7,300 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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