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Meet Nico


Nico's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Nico (he/him) is a 22-year-old Asian trans man hoping to get top surgery. He currently lives with his grandmother and is experiencing significant financial challenges due to being kicked out of the house by his parents in the middle of the pandemic.

Nico is a part-time caretaker for his grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. He spends most of his time working to save money for his own care as well as caring for her.

Nico is excited for life post-op. He shared, "I can finally take the next step in my fitness journey by confidently signing up for a gym membership. I've always been conscious of working out around people because of my body. Also I've always loved the beach but I never felt like I could truly enjoy it because I was never comfortable in my own body. I'm excited to have my first beach trip post-op and be able to take off my shirt and feel confident."

He hopes to one day start a non-profit to help fellow trans folks be comfortable and confident.

Nico's timeline

  • Award Granted

    March 28, 2022

    Nico was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    June 18, 2022

    Nico successfully completed surgery with Dr. Facque!

Grant details

$8,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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