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Meet Rio


Rio's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Rio (he/him) is a 32-year-old trans man from Guatemala City, Guatemala seeking top surgery. 

“I live in a country where there are no LGBTQ+ rights so everything that I have done - legal documents, testosterone shots, labs, healthcare- has been out of pocket. I am so grateful that there are a couple of organizations here that guide you through your process, but there is still so much work to do and so much help to get” Rio shares. He notes that he has been exposed to constant discrimination particularly by healthcare providers, employers and other officials who don’t understand his transition and are either transphobic or have no knowledge of the care he needs as he is not allowed to legally change his gender in his home country.

Rio describes himself as an introvert who enjoys spending time with his loved ones and who took 30 years to be his true self and more to really start living his free life"

Rio's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Rio was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Consultation Date

    March 18, 2024

    Rio had a consultation with Dr. Charles Garramone!

Grant details

$13,910 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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