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Meet Carlos

Carlos' story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Carlos (they/he) is 37-year-old undocumented, disabled trans person of color. He is seeking to get a masculinizing chest surgery (double mastectomy.)

As an undocumented person, Carlos is unable to qualify for any free health insurance in their state; he's planned and saved towards the full cost of surgery for a long time. When the pandemic started, Carlos had to financially support his large (also undocumented) family for their survival.

Carlos is a harm reduction services provider and has been for the past seven years. He is engaged to his partner of 8 years. They have two dogs together and enjoy going camping.

Receiving this surgery will allow Carlos to live a more carefree and pain-free lifestyle. He shared that he looks forward to no longer having to bind his chest every morning, or suffer the bodily strain that comes with it. They are eager to navigate the world with more confidence and less anxiety.

Carlos' timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 28, 2022

    Carlos was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    June 7, 2022

    Carlos has successfully completed surgery!

Grant details

$5,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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