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Meet Cairo


Cairo's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Cairo (he/him) is a trans man from the UK seeking gender-affirming top surgery. Like so many others in our community, he has struggled financially to be able to afford medical transition, and has dealt with uninformed and unaffirming health care providers along the way. He shared that he does not pass consistently and how he has concerns about his safety when in male-only spaces.

His desire to provide visibility for other mixed race and trans people of color, however, was especially compelling. Cairo is an active volunteer and visible advocate for our community. As an actor and spoken word artist, he is involved with a number of creative projects within the LGBT community, including mentoring teenage youth, working with a local charity that challenges transphobia, homophobia, and bullying in schools, and participating in a documentary about trans topics and issues.

Cairo's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 22, 2018

    Cairo was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    September 11, 2019

    Cairo successfully completed surgery with Dr. Medalie!

Grant details

$2,500 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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