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Meet Saaji


Saaji's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Saaji (he/him) is a Black non-binary trans masculine person from Texas seeking top surgery. After two and a half years of housing insecurity, Saaji is finally housed, though is still dealing with the challenges of credit card debt while supporting himself. Although Saaji works two jobs, he is still finding it difficult to make ends meet, let alone save for healthcare. "I find myself negotiating whether toilet paper or dinner for the week is more important," he shares.

Saaji is passionate about meditation and Reiki energy healing because of the impact these tools had in his own journey to self-acceptance as a trans person. "Life has its challenges, yet I’m grateful to be trans because my transness has connected me to people in a way that feels healing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually."

Saaji's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Saaji was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    April 30, 2024

    Saaji had surgery with Dr. Eisemann!

  • Update

    July 2, 2024

    Saaji shared, "Point of Pride’s financial assistance has had an immeasurable impact on my quality of life, for which I am incredibly grateful. Thanks to Point of Pride's support, I've been able to focus on my recovery without the stress of financial strain. I'm now 8 weeks post-op and gradually returning to my daily routines, enjoying movement, reconnecting with my community, and getting back to work. This support has made my recovery process better than I could have imagined. Words cannot fully express my gratitude — this grant from Point of Pride has truly been life-changing in multiple ways. Thank you for all that you do; your generosity will never be forgotten.

    Having access to surgery has brought me into alignment mentally, physically, and spiritually. Now, I feel empowered to pursue my goals with renewed vigor. Transitioning careers was challenging initially because I felt physically uncomfortable pre-surgery, but now I have the confidence to move forward. This surgery has been a catalyst for a new chapter in my life, and I am filled with gratitude for the fresh start it has given me."

Grant details

$5,632 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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