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Meet D.

D.'s story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


D. (she/her) is an undocumented transgender woman from Mexico. She is also living with a disability/chronic illness, and quickly learned since she migrated here in the early ’90s that her options—for healthcare, health insurance, employment, and so much more—are severely limited. In Mexican culture, the oldest children become the caretaker for their family members, so in addition to supporting herself, she is also providing for her four brothers and sisters as well as her parents. She’s tried many times to fundraise on her own to afford her gender-affirming surgery, but has never been able to raise more than $100 in the past.

D. is very involved in her local communities as an activist and volunteer to provide support to other undocumented people, specifically people who (like her) are without health insurance and safe access to medical care. Once she receives her surgery, D. feels she will be far more confident in public: “[Right now] it’s difficult for me to have confident conversations and connect with people. I will have less fear of being attacked or harassed in public. I will have more concentration at work and will be able to help more. My smile will be genuine and not an effort for people to like me.”

"I dream of waking up one day, seeing myself in the mirror and feeling liberated. I dream of being able to start my own business, to be able to support my mother and family, I dream of awakening in [my state] where there is no discrimination and I feel safe, complete and I can truly smile because I am accepted 100%."

D.'s timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 13, 2019

    D. was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$6,200 towards gender-affirming care.

About MTF Top Surgery

On average, it costs $9,000+ for D.'s care.

What is it?

MTF top surgery is typically a breast augmentation, a surgical procedure aimed at increasing the size or improving the shape of the breasts. The procedure is customized to each individual’s desired outcome.

What is life like for a person who needs this care?

Prior to care, many trans femme folks experience dysphoria that impacts their daily life. We commonly hear from applicants that they feel “simply incomplete” without access to care, which often leads to less confidence, safety when in public, and access to life opportunities.

How accessible is it for trans folks to receive this care?

Breast augmentation is often considered a cosmetic surgery and is therefore unlikely to be covered by insurance.  It can also be hard for trans femme folks to find affirming surgeons in their region, especially in states and regions most impacted 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.