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Meet Theo


Theo's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient

Theo (he/him) is a 37-year-old trans man in Texas seeking top surgery. Due to his disability, Theo is unable to work; he has also had his application for government benefits denied, adding to his financial hardship. "I wasn't able to get disability due to being married to my partner and too high a household income," Theo explains. "I hope to be well enough to work a part-time job, but that will not be happening in the near future unfortunately."

While Theo is on his partner's health insurance plan, it excludes gender-affirming care regardless of necessity. There is no opportunity for an appeal as it is a plan exclusion.

Theo is a proud parent who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction that often features queer, disabled youth. He hopes to one day be published.

"I'm a survivor of [violence] as well as being disabled and chronically ill," Theo shares. "My healing, both physically and mentally, is ongoing, but I am always hopeful that I will be able to make the most out of the time that I have on this planet. I'm grateful for this opportunity to finally exist more comfortably in my body."

Theo's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 15, 2024

    Theo was granted a Surgery Fund Award!
  • Consultation Date

    April 13, 2024

    Theo had a consultation with Dr. Adam Weinfeld!

Grant details

$10,975 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About FTM Top Surgery

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