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Meet Daniel


Daniel's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Daniel (he/him) is a trans man from Idaho seeking top surgery.

"Although being autistic has made work challenging, I’m proud that I’ve had a part-time job as a night stocker for the past few years," Daniel shares. "I was recently approved for an Idaho Housing Voucher, and although I don't earn much, I was recently able to find a subsidized apartment and achieve my goal of living independently."

Saving money has been difficult for Daniel as a low-income person with a disability: he will lose access to resources if there is too much money in his bank account. With his mom's help, he's attempted to get coverage through Idaho Medicaid, but that was unsuccessful.

"One thing that is at the core of my identity: I’m autistic. That comes with challenges, but it also comes with traits I’m proud of—I’m someone who cares about doing a good job, I'm honest, I'm passionate," Daniel shares. "I’m proud of who I am. I just wish that the way I looked on the outside matched who I know I am inside."

Daniel's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Daniel was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Consultation Date

    March 12, 2024

    Daniel had a consultation with Dr. Cori Agarwal!

Grant details

$8,053 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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