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Meet Lukas

Lukas' story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Lukas (he/him) is 24-year-old trans man from Colorado seeking top surgery. He works full time at a homeless shelter as a Sous chef, but the insurance offered by the Christian organization has an exclusion for gender-affirming care. He has been struggling to cover cost of living and prior debt, on top of putting aside money towards surgery.

While working in the Air Force, he was able to get an exception through the Secretary of the Air Force in order to be able to wear a male uniform. Unfortunately, the military insurance, Tricare, would not cover gender-affirming care. Lukas continued to work to find care and resources to pay for their surgery but encountered numerous set backs, including a hospitalization. Binding his chest is taking a toll on his joints because his daily work is so physical.

In the future, Lukas hopes to eventually own his own food truck, providing donations to homeless shelters as well as mentorship to individuals struggling with addiction. He is committed to caring and giving back to people who are down on their luck—his work helps him to love others in a greater capacity as well as himself.

Lukas' timeline

  • Award Granted

    May 9, 2020

    Lukas was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$6,500 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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