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Meet Dandy


Dandy's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Dandy (he/him) is a trans masculine person of color from Texas seeking top surgery. 

"Currently, I have no source of income. I am in school due to a scholarship and my partner is helping me with food and other necessities," Dandy shares. "I am not a US citizen. I have tried multiple legal resources to get my documents from transphobic family members but I have hit only dead ends."

Saving money is a challenge. Dandy works as a tutor for kids and makes very little income. Because they do not have a social security number, they are unable to fundraise via GoFundMe or other platforms.

"I came to America in 2021, and have found it both scary and delightful," Dandy says. "Leaving my friends and hometown was hard but being able to be the truest form of myself outside a transphobic country was such an experience."

Dandy's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Dandy was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Update

    March 27, 2024

    Dandy shared, "I am so insanely grateful for this, it is beyond words for me. Being able to get top surgery this soon was beyond my wildest dreams. I still haven’t fully processed it, I feel like it’s going to hit me tomorrow morning (surgery is 7:30AM) or maybe even after!".
  • Care Received

    March 28, 2024

    Dandy had surgery with Dr. Iteld!
  • Update

    March 30, 2024

    Dandy shared, "I'm still very woozy from my meds and the anesthesia but I am so happy right now! I feel amazing, over the moon. I feel so insanely happy. This is really a dream come true. It feels so natural, I finally feel okay with myself. I feel so much bliss, thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.

    It was such an honor to get top surgery on TDOV. "

  • Update

    April 11, 2024

    Dandy shared, "I'm still very fatigued from surgery but I feel genuinely so good. Getting top surgery felt sp...natural. It felt like something that was just meant to be and I feel so much more at peace with myself now.

    I always had a constant worry about money, about having to save up for top surgery or college; it helps so tremendously to have one of it just taken care of so now I can focus on saving for one thing instead of having to pick between two, so important things."

Grant details

$13,264 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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