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Meet Michael

Michael's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


In his application, Michael (he/him) moved us with his vulnerability and honesty: he shared he is living paycheck-to-paycheck and financially unstable due to past employment discrimination, and that he fears his age may make getting the care he needs to alleviate his dysphoria difficult in the future. We were most inspired by his decades-long commitment to serving the trans community: in addition to directing the Gender Odyssey conference, he has dedicated his life to educating providers, employers, students, and others on LGBTQ best practices in patient care, policy, and staff inclusion. Michael is battling for insurance coverage for two gender-affirming procedures, thigh masculinization and phalloplasty.

Michael's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 22, 2018

    Michael was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$7,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About Body Contouring

On average, it costs $13,500+ for Michael's care.

What is it?

Body contouring refers to a series of surgical procedures (often through liposuction) aimed at reshaping and sculpting the body to change its appearance to be more traditionally feminine or more traditionally masculine.

How accessible is it for trans folks to receive this care?

Body contouring is generally considered to be a cosmetic procedure, and so it is unlikely that health insurance will cover the cost. It can also be hard for trans femme folks to find trans-affirming surgeons in their region.