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Meet Tristan

Tristan's story

Annual Trans Surgery Fund recipient


Tristan (he/him) is a 20-year-old trans man of color currently seeking top surgery. In the past, Tristan had attempted to have his surgery covered through surgery but was denied, and fundraising via GoFundme was also unsuccessful. While Tristan has tried hard to save up on his own over several years, it’s been extremely difficult as a pre-med college student supporting himself.

Tristan shared that he lives with chronic back pain from an injury, which means binding exacerbates that pain. “Finally having top surgery will relieve this pain, as well as lift a huge amount of dysphoria off of my shoulders.”

When he isn’t studying to hopefully go on to medical school and pursue his dream of becoming a surgeon, Tristan’s making art or doing photography.

Tristan's timeline

  • Care Received

    June 2, 2021

    Tristan successfully completed surgery with Dr. Facque!
  • Award Granted

    June 21, 2021

    Tristan was granted a Surgery Fund Award!

Grant details

$8,000 towards gender-affirming care.

About FTM Top Surgery

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