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Meet Sam


Sam's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Sam (he/they) is a 28-year-old trans masc and self-described "queer late bloomer:" he didn't come out to himself and his chosen family until after having lots of time to think things through during the lockdown in 2019-2020. After taking measures to escape his trad-wife-life and religious family opposition, he is now happily living with and caring for his disabled trans spouse who has lovingly pushed him to seek help and is unbelievably grateful to point of pride for this grant. Without it, they would never be able to afford gender affirming care.

Sam currently runs an escape room and takes great pride in being able to offer a safe space for other queer people to work without fear. He describes himself as "a nerd my whole life" and enjoys hosting DND nights, among other table top games. His main goals are to provide a good life for his partners and a stable/safe place for queer people to work.

Sam's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Sam was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$9,050 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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