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Meet Kelly


Kelly's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Kelly (he/him) is a 37-year-old trans masculine person living in a state where trans-affirming care is scarce and difficult to access. For a long time, Kelly struggled to find the resources he needed, and encountered many obstacles in receiving care. "I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle."

In his free time, Kelly enjoys reading and writing. He is also a fan of sushi, kickboxing, and lifting weights. He shares, "Being transgender has not changed any of that. I am still the same person I have always been, with my own strengths and weaknesses, my own quirks and habits, and my own individuality. I hope that by being open and honest about my identity, I can help others understand that being transgender does not make me any less of a person."

Post-op, Kelly is most excited to live as he sees himself, and to feel a "new kind of freedom" going to the beach shirtless.

Kelly's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 30, 2023

    Kelly was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    May 31, 2023

    Kelly successfully completed surgery with Dr. Gallagher!

Grant details

$7,200 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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