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Meet Shawn


Shawn's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Shawn (they/he) is a 32-year-old autistic transmasc/nonbinary person seeking top surgery. They live with significant financial challenges due to a disability, lack of stable housing, and debt. They barely are able to make ends meet on their current SSDI income. After their surgery was denied by health insurance, Shawn turned to family, but still was unable to afford the care they need.

Shawn is an avid puzzler, crafter, and doodler. They like to spend quality time with family and friends playing games and watching films. You can often find them in the garden helping with their Grandma. Shawn is a great Uncle and Brother to two little ones. Family is most important along side their mental/physical health.

"I cannot wait for post-op life. That's what's coming: life," Shawn shares. "I cannot wait to thrive in a body that suits me. The heartbreak of every day misgendering will disappear. The uncomfortable body movements and stress of finding clothing that hides them will disappear. The avoidance of fun activities, like swimming, will disappear." Because their autism makes these daily experiences much more difficult and mentally/energetically debilitating, Shawn cannot wait to stand tall, topless, living their best life!

Shawn's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Shawn was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    April 11, 2024

    Shawn had surgery with Dr. Dulin and shared, "I just wanted to give y'all an update on my surgery. It went great and I'm so happy. Thank you again for this opportunity. I get to see my chest for the first time tomorrow."



  • Update

    April 16, 2024

    Shawn's mom shared, "Your organization provided Shawn with an opportunity that he may never have had otherwise. Through your support, Shawn has been able to embark on a journey towards embracing his authentic self in a body that truly serves him. Your generosity has not only transformed his physical appearance but has also empowered him to live his truth with confidence and dignity.

    Words cannot express the immense impact your kindness has had on our family. Your unwavering commitment to providing access to gender-affirming care is not only admirable but also life-changing. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of countless individuals like Shawn, who deserve nothing less than to feel comfortable and proud of who they are.

    Please know that your work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You are creating a more inclusive and accepting world for everyone, and for that, we are eternally grateful."

  • Update

    April 25, 2024

    Shawn shared, "My life has changed in the best way possible. I'm able to live in the body I've always wanted and dreamed of. Point of pride helped me achieve my goal of getting top surgery. I am forever grateful for Point of Pride.

    [Having surgery] meant that I can live my authentic self without the daily struggles of being misgendered or seeing a chest that I hated for so long. Now I am in love with my new chest. "

    2024-PointOfPride_Recipient_shawn-2 2024-04-16

Grant details

$11,025 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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