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Meet Shay

Shay's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


“One of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced because of my dysphoria is just getting out and doing things that I want to do. If I’m having a bad body image day, it influences the likelihood that I would choose to stay home instead of going out with friends or my partner. I will be doing a lot more things knowing that all I have to do is throw on a shirt and go. No worrying about how long I’ll be out and about binding that day and when I’ll be back home to get out of it!”

Shay's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 27, 2015

    Shay was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Care Received

    June 25, 2015

    Shay has successfully completed surgery!

Grant details

$1,250 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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