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Refused: When You're Too Fat For Top Surgery

An illustration of a Black person without a shirt looking at themselves in a bathroom mirror. They have short hair and scars underneath their breasts from a top surgery. They are wearing a purple towel around their waist and there are stretch marks on their stomach. The word "Refused" is in the upper righthand corner of the illustration, above a towel bar.
Charnel Hunter

Last October Anita got an e-mail that piqued her curiosity: a story pitch about how anti-fat bias affects people seeking gender-affirming surgery. She hands the mic over to audio journalist H Conley, who follows a 26-year-old Black nonbinary food writer as they overcome repeated barriers to getting top surgery due to body size.

Meet the guests:

  • Chala June, an associate editor at "Bon Appétit" magazine, shares their experience of being told to lose weight before getting top surgery
  • Dr. Alexes Hazen, a New York City-based aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon who performs top surgeries, explains some of the various factors that come into play for surgeons when considering patients
  • Lacie Parker, a psychotherapist who works with queer people and focuses on eating concerns and body image, talks about weight stigma for trans folks

Meet the creator:

  • H Conley is a a New York City-based journalist, audio producer and artist. Find more of their audio work here.

Read the transcript Review the podcast

Stay Connected
H Conley is a New York City-based journalist, audio producer and artist.
Kaia Findlay is a producer for Embodied, WUNC's weekly, live talk show on health, sex and relationships. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.