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Meet Bug


Bug's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Bug (they/xe) is a 24-year-old disabled trans non-binary person. Due to their disability, they are unable to have a job, and therefore live on a fixed income. They currently are facing housing insecurity and are sleeping on their parents' couch. All money goes to bills to stay alive. Because Texas has passed legislation that denies gender-affirming care to be covered under Medicaid (which Bug has) access to care is simply out of reach. Bug had tried crowdfunding for many years for their surgery with ultimately little success, and felt trapped financially and physically.

"Receiving top surgery will change my life: I will finally be able to look at myself and be comfortable with what I see," Bug says. "I am excited to feel confident and experience the world as I truly am." They are eager to finally wear all the clothes they only dreamed of wearing without having to bind their chest, which will relieve them of back and chest strain.

Bug is an artist who also loves alternative fashion. They currently have their own small business that they work towards expanding into an accessible fashion line, available to people regardless of size and disability!

Bug's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Bug was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Consultation Date

    May 26, 2024

    Bug had a consultation with Dr. Dustin Reid in Austin, TX!

Grant details

$10,745 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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