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Meet Dax


Dax's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Dax (he/him) is a 43-year-old trans man from Tennessee seeking top surgery. Dax is a stay-at-home parent who cares for medically fragile, LGBTQ+ foster children. Any income Dax's partner brings home or the monthly stipends for the children go straight to housing, food, and medical costs.

"I tried going through my insurance but because it is state insurance and I live in Tennessee, they have refused to pay for my care," Dax explains. "I tried to save money, but my family's expenses take priority."

Dax had his first pre-op consultation almost two years ago; he is so excited to finally be able to access care.

Dax's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Dax was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    April 10, 2024

    Dax had surgery with Dr. Salam Kassis!

  • Update

    April 11, 2024

    Dax shared, "I cannot begin to describe just how overwhelmingly happy I am. I didn't realize just how emotional it would be for me. [Dr. Kassis] assured me that he was extremely pleased with how it turned out. I am so thankful for the staff at Vanderbilt Gender Clinic and also with Point of Pride for making this possible. I honestly never thought it would happen."

Grant details

$7,999 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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