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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."

  • Update

    May 7, 2024

    Dax shared, "I have been trying to figure out how to put how I feel into words. I can honestly say that Point of Pride along with my surgeon saved me. I was at a loss before being awarded this grant.

    Before my surgery I hardly left my house. Most binders just made me look like I was wearing a sports bra. I was convinced most people could tell I was trans, and in a red state that is scary. Before receiving this grant I had actually not been keeping up with my testosterone, I honestly just felt defeated. I had even talked about detransitioning, not because I wanted to but because I was scared for my safety and my family's safety when they were with me.

    Now 4 weeks after surgery all that has changed. I am getting out and doing things. I feel confident and am so happy with who I am. My partner asked me about a week ago if it felt weird now that my breast were gone. I told them that honestly I couldn't remember what it felt like before my surgery. I know that sounds crazy, I had a large chest so they were hard to ignore. The thing is my body feels like it was always supposed to be this way.

    I have started taking my testosterone regularly and find myself actually looking forward to taking it each week. I'm no longer scared to be around other people. When I'm out in public I'm not consumed with thoughts of whether or not someone can tell I'm trans. Point of Pride has given me hope for my future. I can never thank you enough for that.

    I am a new person. I'm not scared to be out in public anymore. I am actually going to start doing weight training and build some upper body muscle as well as drop some extra weight I have put on. Before the surgery I was never able to maintain a healthy weight because no matter what weight I was at I still wasn't in the right body. Now that I am in a body that reflects who I am on the inside I am excited to shape and mold that body to look the way I want it to.

    Point of Pride literally saved me! For the first time in a long time I am excited for my future. "

    2024-PointOfPride_Recipient_dax-2 2024-05-07


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.