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Meet Braxton

Braxton's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Braxton (he/him) is a 20-year-old trans man from Kentucky. For the last year, he has been working two jobs, 7 days a week, in order to raise money towards surgery. Braxton has severe asthma, and one of those jobs requires Braxton to stand for 12+ hours at a time – combined, these factors make it very physically demanding to wear a binder. He writes, “It’s so hard being a man with a DDD bra size. I always keep my rescue inhaler and a pair of folding scissors with me. I’ve almost lost a lung in the past due to asthma, and a binder is the worst thing for you to have on during an attack.”

Braxton shared just how much receiving top surgery meant to him. He is frequently misgendered and worries about his safety when at work, in mens’ restrooms, or in public.  He shares, “My chest is a dead giveaway [that I am a trans man.] Having surgery will give me a new found courage I’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s my final step to being who I truly am. My body will finally match my mind.”

Despite challenges in his life, including homelessness/housing insecurity and a lack of family support, Braxton is optimistic and proud of his trans identity. In the past, he’s volunteered for social justice causes and supported the Deaf community as a sign language volunteer. Once he’s had top surgery, he hopes to return to volunteering. Post-op, Braxton plans to go back to college to become a wildlife veterinarian.

Braxton's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 13, 2019

    Braxton was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    September 11, 2020

    Braxton successfully completed surgery with Dr. Mosser!

Grant details

$6,500 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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