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Meet Chamar

Chamar's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Chamar (he/him) is a 40-year-old trans man of color from Ohio. Like so many of our applicants, Chamar works two jobs to provide for himself, his wife, and their four children.

Over the years, he has fought his insurance company for coverage, but has been denied over and over again for any gender-affirming surgeries or transition-related care. He is unable to obtain a different insurance plan because the school district for which he works does not allow employees to opt out. Chamar is therefore stuck, paying for his medical costs out of pocket. While he has saved up some money for care, he simply cannot make ends meet in providing for his family while also seeking the care he needs to live more authentically.

Chamar works as an Intervention Specialist and educator. In his application, he shared how important his career is to him, in providing a role model to LGBTQ youth. He mentors two transgender students, and frequently gives back to his school community and local LGBTQ community through volunteerism.

Chamar's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 13, 2019

    Chamar was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$5,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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