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Meet Declan

Declan's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Declan (he/him) is a 24-year-old trans man currently seeking top surgery. Although he works full-time, he’s barely scraping by in order to support himself. Declan deals with mental health challenges, and has had to discontinue therapy because of his finances.

Declan is currently on his parents’ health insurance plan, but they will not allow him to use insurance for any trans-related care. He’s been unable to afford his own insurance plan, but more importantly, all of the available options in his area explicitly exclude trans-related healthcare.

He writes, “Having this surgery will, quite simply but in no small way, change my life. My chest does not fit me. It’s not mine. It’s foreign and terrible. This surgery will free me. It will allow me to express my body in the way I was always supposed to. This surgery will give me the opportunity to take a huge step closer to my truest self.”

Declan is an animal lover and enjoys meeting new people. He hopes to one day pursue a career that serves LGBTQ community, possibly by becoming a high school teacher and advocating for LGBTQ+ students, or by embracing his other passion of barbering and helping folks explore their self-expression through hair.

Declan's timeline

  • Award Granted

    June 21, 2021

    Declan was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    July 12, 2021

    Declan successfully completed surgery with Dr. Facque!

Grant details

$6,500 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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