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Meet Shayne


Shayne's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Shayne (he/him) is a 24-year-old trans man of color seeking top surgery. He in the past has struggled with homelessness, food insecurity, and a complete lack of any mental, dental, or medical care. Currently, he lives with three people and works two jobs just to make ends meet, but has had years of care to catch up on. As a result, top surgery seemed at least a decade away.

Shayne is a neurofeedback and EEG technician at a small neuropsych practice, and he volunteers much of his free time to a mutual aid organization he helped start, dedicated to helping any struggling members in his community no questions asked. He loves plants, going on hikes with his wiener dog, and spending time with the tiny queer family he has with his boyfriend and roommates.

"I am unbelievably excited to be seen as myself," Shayne shares. "I will allow my skin and back to finally heal from years of chest compressing. I'll feel safe using the bathroom that matches my gender expression. I'll no longer have to explain why I 'just don't swim anymore' even though I love to." Shayne confidently says this surgery is going to positively impact every facet of his life.

Shayne's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Shayne was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$11,205 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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