Congratulations to the 2022 Recipients of the HRT Access Fund
This cycle, we were able to award 46 recipients access to life-changing healthcare for an entire year at no expense to them, with complete lab work coverage and prescription drug coverage included.
- 44% recipients are youth under 24
- 52% recipients are people of color
- 70% recipients have dealt with homelessness/housing insecurity, either currently or in the past
- 46% recipients are living with a disability or chronic illness
- Many of these recipients also live in areas of the country where finding trans-affirming doctors is a challenge.
Carmen (she/her) is a 22-year-old trans woman who has been trying to access affirmative HRT since she was a young girl. Because she grew up in a conservative, low income, and immigrant family from South America, she's had challenges qualifying for proper care. Caelan is a full-time student pursuing a degree in business, and struggles to afford tuition and living expenses. She hopes to one day pursue a law degree at an Ivy League school. She shared, "As an immigrant, transgender and first-generation college woman, I am passionate about ensuring representation for the communities like mine, who often miss out on opportunities due to lack education, resources and support." In a free time she volunteers as a paralegal and non-profits, working alongside immigrant and LGBTQ+ community. She is excited for her future to "finally live my truth" and celebrated this milestone by enrolling in a ballet class, a dream of hers come true: "I am ready to see the mirror reflect the girl, the woman I know I have always been."
Willow (she/her) is a 28-year-old trans woman living in an area that has made transitioning difficult. She found Plume and was finally able to begin her HRT journey in late 2021. Although her mental health and overall well-being was improved greatly, she struggled financially to make ends meet and afford HRT access. Willow describes herself as a creative free spirit. She enjoys creating digital art, singing, makeup, drag, and tries to be a vocal advocate for the trans community (and LGBTQ+ community as a whole) whenever she can. "I can't express what access to HRT will do to make my life better. I'm lucky if I make more than $100-$200 a month as someone who is self-employed, and I wasn't able to afford HRT without sacrifices. Now I can breathe easier knowing I don't have to worry about how I'm gonna pay for my medication."
Eli (he/him) is a 24-year-old, disabled, hard-of-hearing trans male seeking testosterone to finally become who he’s always known himself to be. He lives with challenges everyday to make ends meet to even pay bills and buy groceries. He lives in a state in the Bible Belt where doctors do not take him seriously when he says he’s trans. He shared that he often struggles to feel like himself when constantly deadnamed and misgendered by those around him. Despite this, he still manages to hold onto the hope to become his full unique self. He describes himself as loving and kind, and devoted to his married partner: "We love each other without a shadow of a doubt, through tough and dark times." He is excited to see himself change into a handsome man and looks forward to proudly call himself a husband to his spouse.
Danielle (she/her) is a 23-year-old trans women who is currently unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. In the future, she hopes to access facial feminization surgery; for now, she is relieved to have her HRT access covered and allow her to focus on employment without feeling discomfort in the workplace. She shared, "I will be able to take care of all my daily activities without having extreme anxiety attacks due to not feeling comfortable with myself while not on HRT."
Destiny (she/her) is a Black trans woman and activist. She shared, "It's hard trying to achieve so many things relating to my transition, including physical changes and surgery due to how expensive it all is. It's been a struggle for me." Destiny describes herself as a a community mother to many queer folks in her live, and uses her personal space to house trans folks who need support. "I'm excited for post-op life," she said, "and to have that sense of completeness that has been missing: to wear what I wanted to and to express myself fully."
Amelia (she/her) is a 20-year-old trans woman seeking hormone replacement therapy. She has dealt with financial restraints preventing her from affording what she considers to be a “life saving” medication. She has experienced homelessness and housing insecurity in the past, but fortunately has managed her way into an apartment. With that said, putting aside money for the cost of hormone replacement therapy would come directly from other expenses and would but her at risk of housing insecurity again. Amelia enjoys reading, watching Netflix, spending time with her girlfriend, and giving her cat cuddles when he will allow it, which isn’t as often as she’d like. She is beyond thrilled by the opportunity to receive this grant, and looks forward to not having to ration her 3-month supply of medicine she was prescribed many months ago. "I'll have the freedom to focus on what I enjoy in life, rather than stressing about where my next dose will come from. A massive weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
Arlo (he/they) is a single parent of two children "who are my entire world." He shared, "It has been a dream of mine to be able to start this journey of living as my true self for years. Financially it has not been an option for me due to financial stress. I can not believe I have been selected and given this chance of a lifetime. I am beyond grateful and overcome with emotion at the mere thought of being able to begin this journey." Arlo says he likes to make everyone feel included and seen, and that it's his mission to make everyone he comes into contact with feel loved and supported. On receiving access to HRT, Arlo said, "It will dramatically impact everything. The weighted depression I feel daily from being stuck in this image that is not me, and the gender dysphoria will finally be lifted."
Fenris (they/them) is a 24-year-old currently struggling to recover from homelessness and the financial strain caused by it. They have fought paycheck to paycheck just to put food on the table and make sure they received their seizure medications at least semi-regular intervals. Their focus has mainly been stuck on survival, so they are looking forward to the relief this grant will provide. Fenris enjoys spending their free time taking nature photography and being with their pets. They are looking forward to having access to HRT to aid them in feeling more comfortable in their own skin and achieving the appearance that best fits them.
Oliver (he/him) is a 19-year-old trans man. He has been attempting to save money for a year for HRT, but paying for college and helping out his family financially has left little money for proper care. He is looking forward to the day he can finally start his transition and live happily in his body. Oliver will be a freshman in college in the upcoming year. He’s had a huge love of cartoons from a young age, and hopes to get his degree in animation to tell his own stories. He’s most excited to join male-oriented clubs, like the men’s choir or sports teams at his school.
Allison (she/her) said, "This has been a long and arduous journey for me! I have been wanting to transition since I was 5 years old. Now I can finally begin my journey." In her spare time, Allison loves to work out, play guitar, and sing. She also enjoys the outdoors, playing with friends, and being social. "I'm a happy girl who tries to make the most out of life," she shared. "And once I receive my gender-affirming hormones, I will finally be able to feel like myself, too. I can't wait to be recognized for who I am both inside and out. Not to feel judged for being myself."
CJ (they/them) is a non-binary individual who recently decided to seek gender affirming care after years of not being true to themselves. CJ experienced issues with other providers, and struggled with appointments being canceled without their knowledge, and accessing bloodwork and prescriptions. Their health insurance does not cover their care, and after their fiancé was laid off, attempting to continue care became impossible. CJ enjoys working with animals, and tutoring local middle school students. CJ also loves spending time outside, camping and hiking with their dog. They are looking forward to living as their true self, and having access to a responsive care team that will work with them and answer all questions without bias.
Adé (they/them) has desired HRT for years but was unable to begin due to overwhelming financial challenges, housing insecurity, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare. Adé is a neurodivergent artist and dreamworker committed to unearthing errant, vital imaginaries and fruits of liberation possible here and now. They are currently working on a lyric essay that evokes the image of the mermaid as an emblem of disability. "Receiving this affirming aid cushions residual emotional and psychological trauma impacted by harm and neglect," they shared. They feel joy in the possibility, now, to gift gratitude to my body for surviving so much. They are thankful for this access to a special journey toward self-fulfillment, agency, and pleasure.
Shawn (he/him) shared, "I’ve been on and off HRT for around 3 years now. The times when I’m off it are usually because I don’t have insurance and can’t afford it." Shawn describes himself as kind, caring, generous, and funny – qualities that come in handy as a parent to 6 kids who keep him busy. He said, "I worry constantly about how I will get my T refilled and how much it will cost me. Receiving this award will help my stress and anxiety over missing shot day and being at peace knowing that I’ll still have it even if I don’t have the funds."
Ayang (she/her) is a 21-year-old trans woman who has recently got out of college. She wanted to start hormone therapy early on in her transition but due to unstable employment, loss of housing, and multiple switching of insurance companies, she was not financially able to. Student debt and medical bills took the forefront. The discomfort and anxiety of not beginning HRT left her feeling stuck. Ayang is an award-winning artist and a mental health advocate, dedicating the majority of her free time to illustrating mental health issues and topics. She shared, "This opportunity has relieved me of the stress that has been gnawing at my mind for the past two years. With this opportunity, I can finally start making those first few steps towards becoming the person I really am."
Aayren (they/he/she) is an 18-year-old disabled, neurodivergent, genderfluid person seeking HRT. They live with significant financial challenges: due to the high cost of living, she is barely able to make ends meet on his current income. In the past, they've also dealt with housing insecurity. After exhausting all resources to receive HRT in a timely and cost effective manner, he began to give up, being unable to afford the care she needs. As a result, they've remained feeling simply incomplete, and dysphoric. Aayren is a loving individual that enjoys taking care of their partners to the best of their abilities, and remains active in their community. He plans to major in Biotechnology, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. She is passionate about activism, reading, writing, spirituality, and entrepreneurship. After having to move out at 18 years old and live paycheck to paycheck, they have found solace in embracing their love of the performing arts, and taking care of those they love. Aayren shared, "I'm excited to be able to walk around with confidence, and the idea of people being confused about my gender makes me very happy. I didn’t expect to survive past middle school, let alone as long as I have, and I just want to live to be the fullest expression of myself as much as possible in this life."
Koda (he/him) is an 18 year-old black trans man. Having just graduated high school, he's struggled to land a job and deal with mental health issues and transitioning with little to no assistance from his unsupportive family. With having no financial support and trying to get himself on his feet, it's been nearly impossible to medically transition and feel comfortable in his own skin. Koda is an amateur voice actor and artist and frequently engages in musical/theatrical activities, such as guitar and singing. Koda is ecstatic to start hormone therapy. He cannot wait to have a voice that fits him comfortably, and a body that he can be confident in.
Athena (she/her) shared, "Living in such a small and conservative area, trans health options are very limited. Traveling to a bigger city that has affirming health care has always been one of my biggest concerns because I don’t feel comfortable going far out of state to receive the help I need to start my journey." Athena describes herself as a a lover of music, art, and video games. She spends a lot of time working on hobbies and doing what she can to make the world a better place. "Receiving gender affirming healthcare would mean the absolute most to me," she said, "Gender dysphoria is really hard to deal with and I do my best to lower it as much as I can, but starting my medical journey would help the most for me."
Felix (he/him) shared, "All my life, I have know deep inside that I was a trans man. As I got older, it got much harder to be happy with the outside not matching the inside. Suffering from fibromyalgia made it hard to keep a steady income, and little by little, I started to lose hope that I would ever be able to see the real me in the mirror." Felix describes himself as a caring person with a wonderful partner and three awesome dogs. He looks forward to feeling more comfortable in the skin he's in. "With this grant, I have hope that I can finally see the real me when I look in the mirror."
Anthony (he/him) is a 28-year-old trans guy seeking gender affirming hormone therapy. As an LGBTQ+ Mexican immigrant in the U.S., Anthony has encountered several barriers in trying to be his true self, including cultural and financial ones. After a 24 year long journey to obtain U.S. citizenship, Anthony was ready to start HRT—then COVID-19 took the world by storm. After he and his wife experienced several hardships, Anthony decided to delay his transition until they could reach financial stability. Anthony has a passion for human rights, advocacy, and helping others. Having held several positions in his community within the Victim Services field, Anthony has helped people from all walks of life. An aspiring author, Anthony hopes to be able to mesh his passion for writing and advocacy so he can use words to help others in their own life journeys. He is very optimistic for life after starting HRT. Anthony shared, “I am beyond thankful for this opportunity, and I can’t even put into words how much this means. I have waited all my life just to be my true self, and now I get the chance to do it. I know this will greatly improve my quality of life and help me become the best husband, son, brother, and dog dad I can be!”
Lisa (she/her) is a 58-year-old trans woman. Due to gender dysphoria, she has always felt like she was born the wrong gender from a young age; she is also on the autism spectrum, which makes it difficult for her to "function at more than the lowest-paying jobs." A recent infection which required two hospitalizations has forced her out of work for some time. Since returning, both jobs have only employed her for only 1-2 days a week, making it hard to afford gender-affirming care. Tina's loyalty to friends and work ethics are well known by acquaintances and co-workers. She is known for her completely over-the-top sense of dry, sarcastic humor, and a lifelong obsession with Titanic (the ship, not the movie) history. She shared, "Access to HRT will allow me to be the person I really am, and give me a sense of peace, and perhaps even enable me to move into a more productive job and live, allowing me to be financially self-sustaining."
Wren (he/him) is a 20-year-old disabled trans man living with PTSD. In a short time span he's gone from a dangerous home life, to foster care, to having to move to a rural area due to financial struggles. Despite the nearest city being over an hour's drive away, he still reached out to HRT providers there but was met with either no response or unaffordable prices. Living with transphobic family members, he's had to hide a part of himself he doesn't want to keep hidden anymore. Wren helps care for his disabled sibling, whose well-being is everything to him. He also loves his two dogs more than anything in the world. In the future, he dreams of getting a degree and making enough money to visit friends in Europe. Wren is excited to see what kind of man he'll be at the end of his journey, and to no longer hide or feel ashamed of who he is. He's looking forward to comfortably wearing men's clothes and having them look "right" on him. "I can't wait to be able to take selfies and be proud of them afterwards," he says. "I've been waiting my whole life to become the person I've always known I am on the inside, and now I finally get a chance to realize that. It's so amazing that it feels surreal."
Andrew (he/him) is a 22-year-old trans man who has been on and off of testosterone since 2017 due to money troubles, health issues, and housing insecurity. "There were many times I had to make hard decisions over maintaining my health," he shared. "There was a period when I was off of hormones for almost a whole year because I couldn't find ways to appointments or pay for the care." Andrew describes himself as a very kind person: he's always there when people need a laugh, some advice, or even just an ear. He strives to be the person he didn't have growing up. Being a full-time student, he's found it hard to focus on his studies while juggling two jobs—something he's done for as long as he can remember. "Receiving care is life-saving," Andrew said. "Getting so close to being who you are and having it ripped from you [for financial reasons] is heartbreaking. Sometimes there's nothing you can do but hope."
Zayda (she/her) has struggled in finding the funds to support her goals in her transition, having an incredibly supportive family, caring friend group, and incredible partner. Due to her limited education, it’s been difficult to find any employment opportunities that provide enough money to support her and her medical care. "When your goal is just to survive, gender-affirming care has to become a secondary priority," Zayda shared. She also loves spending her free time playing video games, writing, and studying programming. She also enjoys fitness and assisting in local charity programs. To Zayda, there is no greater joy then knowing that she will wake up everyday with the medical care and support for her to continue becoming the person she always wanted to be!
Taylor (he/she) shared, "I'm currently working part time at a veterinary clinic while tackling life’s challenges. Mental health, addiction, and disabilities are no obstacle with the help of access to gender-affirming support." Taylor describes herself as a kind, loyal, and goofy friend. He spends lots of time outdoors with Maggie, a German shepherd mix. "The future holds unknowns for all of us," she said. "I am anxious and excited to start therapy to determine what steps are next! Feeling comfortable again is the goal!"
Stephanie (she/they) is a 44-year-old trans woman who has rediscovered her identity. "At age 12, I first transitioned naturally as result of a hormonal imbalance. For 2.5 years, the transition took place, then was reversed. Two years ago, I've been led to change again. I know this HRT grant will help me live my life the way it was supposed to be." Stephanie lives with a disabled family member in a live-in caregiver capacity, providing care and medical assistance. "It is sad that I have lost so much time living as a different person, but it also gave me a life from a different perspective, giving me a broader knowledge and greater understanding I can use to better help others with."
Ezio (they/them) shared, "I came out to some close friends about medically transitioning, and then jumped through many hoops in the years that followed before I finally got my HRT approved. However, I then received a letter that I would not be covered as I was not a cis male. My medical team at the time did not advocate for me, and so I finally found medication outside of the system." Ezio describes themself as an artist, musician, and plant parent. "I practice meditation, and love art and music because it has always helped me center myself in hard times. I'm multi-racial and always take time to honor my ancestors. I'm neurodivergent and love the way my brain is wired. I enjoy helping and uplifting others in need, and volunteering when I can." Ezio is excited to get back to focusing on other parts of their transition and to lift the "brain fog" once again. "Having my HRT covered is such a relief off my shoulders."
Lyra (she/they) is a 32-year-old trans woman. Due to various factors including familial issues and a lack of stable income, it has been difficult to access care. One of their siblings who used to live with Lyra would threaten her with physical violence for doing such things as wearing her mother's high heels, which lead to a lot of self-repression. Despite some of the hardships with her family, she helps her mother care for her disabled father and is an aspiring network engineer. Lyra is ecstatic to begin the process to finally have a body closer to what she envisioned. "My only concern at the moment is the current political climate," she shared, "but despite, that it is a relief to finally start HRT."
Amethyst (she/her) is a 23-year-old trans woman. She shared, "All of the doctors near me have a wait list of over six months. I am eager to access a telehealth service because it will be the quickest way for me to get back on the HRT medications I need. I worry I am running out of time to get the full effects of HRT." Amethyst was previously taking estrogen but had to discontinue to the expense. She is excited at what the future holds now that she has access to the gender-affirming care she needs.
Shaun (he/him) is a 34-year-old trans male that started transitioning four years ago. He was living in a town in deep Southeast Texas that was very red. When he reached out to the local family practice - the only doctors in town - they all refused care for a trans person. The OBGYN was unsure how to differentiate the female care from trans care, and the endocrinologist notated that she never had trans patients before and would not care to now. Shaun was able to find a Planned Parenthood, but had to travel more than 3 hours away to obtain care. Shaun has a wife and two kids, and is an avid gamer who enjoys TV nights and cuddles with his family. Earlier this year, Shaun lost his job due to anti-trans discrimination, resulting in major financial challenges and credit card debt, on top of losing access to his health insurance. Shaun shared, “Having a way to get back on T without breaking the bank, would be life changing and get mental health care in the mean time. Cherry on top.”
Taryn (she/her) is a 54-year-old trans woman who works long hours for to make ends meet. After years of fighting herself within and around her, she knew she needed to become her truest self to be happy, and so began HRT. The financial burden grew heavier, but she was happy and content for the very first time ever in her life. Taryn loves life and loves those around her. She values her family and always gives of herself and of her time to those in need and her church, where she’s an active and involved member. The financial hardship is all that stands in her way of appearing to the whole world as she’s meant to be. She shared, "I'm so excited to realize my dream of simply finally becoming who and what I've always been. I'll be Taryn, at long last."
Nekorrah (she/her) is a 22-year-old seeking gender affirming care. As an international student, HRT is much more difficult to acquire due to the high cost of medication, medical bills, and lack of insurance and transportation. In Bermuda, HRT was even more inaccessible. "There are no doctors with that specialty, and Bermuda is very conservative," Nekorrah shared. She is a frequent volunteer with SAVElgbt and works with them to coordinate efforts in Broward County, especially at her University, Nova Southeastern University. Outside of her community involvement in queer advocacy, she is deeply involved in the theatre community at NSU as a musical theatre major, taking part in productions and being a part of the student led production company known as "Stage 2 Productions." Nekorrah is thrilled to resume her journey to being her most authentic self and to finally feel complete and in control of her body and life. Nekorrah shared, "I'm excited to pick up my journey where I left off. For so long I felt like becoming my most authentic self was unreachable, especially after having to return to Bermuda. But now I have strength in knowing that my pursuit of happiness isn't over. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity."
Russell (they/he) shared, "My journey to obtain what I call my 'integration into self' has been a grounding and patient one. This journey simply fell into place in divine timing and I’ve been able to break free and learn more about myself everyday." They believe their freedom, joy, and sense of grounding are other characteristics that make them who they are. "There is simply no better feeling than existing in harmony with yourself. Receiving gender-affirming healthcare will bring me peace of mind knowing that there are humans out there that are able to be there for those that are significantly under represented and cared for."
Grizzly (he/they) is a 39-year-old genderfluid person. They decided to go back to school to better their family and life when COVID started. With the rising cost of living along and the loss of health insurance, they have found it hard to stay afloat at times for even everyday medication. Grizzly is very active in the community. They have a passion for creating safe places for queer youth, especially in the state of Florida. Grizzly and their partner started CampOUT Florida, which just had their first official over night summer camp focusing on the mental health and well being for queer youth campers this past summer. Grizzly is excited to not have to worry about receiving the resources to obtain medication and resources to take one huge thing off their plate while finishing school and focusing on camp to become its best potential while not having to sacrifice every day life saving needs. Grizzly is proud to be a living example for queer trans youth that it gets better and easier.
Jaecee (he/him) is a 24-year-old disabled trans man seeking HRT. He lives in financial hardship due to a series of traumatic events within the last three years, and has dealt with housing insecurity as a result. Jaecee's health insurance denied access to trans-related care. As a result, he has been living in a shell of who he really is. Jaecee loves to help others anytime he can. He loves spending time with friends and family. Kids are most important to him. He is excited to start HRT and see the changes so "I can begin to see who I know I should've been from the beginning. I'm ready for the changes so I can be more comfortable within my own body."
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for support, please visit our program’s webpage to learn more.
Written by Point of Pride
Point of Pride provides financial aid and direct support to trans folks in need of health and wellness care.