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Meet Kai


Kai's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Kai (they/them) is a 21-year-old non-binary trans individual currently seeking top surgery. Due to Medicaid in the state of Arizona including a provision that bans the coverage of gender-affirming surgery, Kai has spent years trying to save for their surgery, but been unable to afford the care they need. As a result, they have struggled greatly with their mental health, feeling trapped from being able to grow as a person and live authentically.

As a full-time graduate student pursuing a Master's degree in social work, Kai is passionate about empowering marginalized communities. Currently, they are an intern with local housing-first support services, while also being a student researcher focused on LGBT+ mental health & stress. In their free time, Kai volunteers as the vice president of a club at their college centered around creating a safe space for trans individuals, and is also an openly-trans member of their college's triathlon club.

Receiving this gender-affirming surgery will be a huge step forward for Kai in allowing them to feel more comfortable in their own skin. They share, "It will be absolutely life-changing to gain the confidence of finally feeling at home in my own body."

Kai's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 30, 2023

    Kai was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    June 8, 2023

    Kai successfully completed surgery with Dr. Mosser!

Grant details

$12,000 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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