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Meet DeKarai

DeKarai's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


DaKarai (he/him) is a 23-year-old trans man seeking bottom surgery. He had started saving money for surgery, but due to unforeseen complications with his wife's pregnancy, all money went toward making sure they both survived the birth. He's created multiple GoFundMe's and tried other fundraising avenues, but was unfortunately still unable to raise enough money towards his healthcare. As a result, his depression and dysphoria started to win.

DeKarai is a first-time father to a beautiful baby boy. After becoming a father, he understands the importance of family and mental health, and plans to give back to his community after earning his Ph.D. in psychology. His dream is to provide affordable care and support for LGBTQ+ kids and their families. 

He shares, "I am excited for the feeling of completeness that I've been longing for since the beginning of my transition. I'm ready to finally feel like myself." 

DeKarai's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 30, 2023

    DeKarai was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    September 24, 2023

    Dekarai successfully completed surgery with Dr. Gallagher!

Grant details

$12,000 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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