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Meet Gavin


Gavin's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Gavin (he/him) is a 23-year-old trans man of color from Maine seeking top surgery. He is the sole provider for his mom, younger brother, and partner, who also works two part-time positions. "Even with three incomes, it's very hard financially," Gavin shares. "Most times, bills are paid late." Gavin also has past medical debt that adds to his financial strain.

To try to afford his care, Gavin has taken on side jobs, sold personal items, picked up overtime shifts, and more. Insurance will cover part of Gavin's surgery, but the expense of the downpayment is a major roadblock.

Gavin dreams of going back to school in the future to become a game warden or an electrician. His favorite hobby is fishing, which he does with his best friend Rob at every opportunity.

Gavin's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Gavin was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$2,030 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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