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Meet Natalie

Natalie's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Natalie (she/her) is a 35-year-old trans woman from Ohio. Like so many of our applicants, she has tried to get her insurance company to cover her gender-affirming care for the last 5 years. Despite numerous attempts, it continues to be denied. Natalie has significant financial need that means without this support, surgery has been out of reach. She writes, “As an elementary music teacher, I only make about $225/week. Between my rent, bills, and two children, I can barely afford reeds and valve oil for my concert band students. I’ve tried to save money for the past 2 years and every time I’m getting a good start, there’s a car repair or instrument repair that sends me back to square one.”

Natalie also works as a solo musician and in a band, performing regularly at Pride festivals, Transgender Day of Remembrance events, and other LGBTQ functions in her home state. In her application she shared how fulfilling it is to be able to elevate other trans musicians in the music industry while also representing the community proudly.

Natalie is excited for the little differences in her everyday life that gender-affirming surgery provides. She looks forward to swimming, a big passion of hers that she has not done in years out of fear and dysphoria.

Natalie's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 13, 2019

    Natalie was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$3,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About MTF Top Surgery

On average, it costs $9,000+ for Natalie's care.

What is it?

MTF top surgery is typically a breast augmentation, a surgical procedure aimed at increasing the size or improving the shape of the breasts. The procedure is customized to each individual’s desired outcome.

What is life like for a person who needs this care?

Prior to care, many trans femme folks experience dysphoria that impacts their daily life. We commonly hear from applicants that they feel “simply incomplete” without access to care, which often leads to less confidence, safety when in public, and access to life opportunities.

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

Breast augmentation is often considered a cosmetic surgery and is therefore unlikely to be covered by insurance.  It can also be hard for trans femme folks to find affirming surgeons in their region, especially in states and regions most impacted 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.