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Meet Helena

Helena's story

HRT Access Fund recipient


Helena (she/her) had put off her medical transition for years due to existing physical disabilities and her inability to maintain steady health. The autoimmune disease that Helena lives with has been unresponsive to standard care. Now that her health is in a place where she can pursue HRT, her state refuses to implement Medicaid expansion. Helena could not wait any longer, so she resorted to self-managing her own transition while still trying to navigate safer methods as well as acquire the documentation needed for legal changes.

"Due to how her disease affects males and females differently, estrogen actually helps lessen arthritic symptoms. Starting HRT has already resulted in a massive improvement to my quality of life," she shares. "I've regained a significant amount of function back, and now, I'm hopeful for my new future."

Helena is an avid web gamer who provides vocal training and cosmetic services to other trans femmes.

Helena's timeline

  • Award Granted

    February 23, 2023

    Helena was awarded a grant toward HRT/GaHT!
  • HRT Onboarding Date

    March 1, 2023

    Helena was seen by her HRT/GaHT provider.
  • Update

    June 3, 2023

    Helena shared, "I already feel much more comfortable in my own skin and am much happier. Before starting my medical transition, I didn't even have any long-term goals. Now, I have quite a few things I actually want to be working towards, and the motivation to be making progress. ".

Grant details

$1,700 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About Estrogen+

On average, it costs $1,700+/year for Helena's care.

What is it?

Estrogen+ refers to the gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy (HRT) methods that some trans women, trans femme, and non-binary people take that result in physical changes which align with their gender identity. Every person's preferences and personal healthcare needs vary, so this can include oral medications, injections, and transdermal patches.

How accessible is it for trans folks to receive this care?

For trans folks who live in states most impacted by anti-trans healthcare legislation, it can be extremely difficult to find a knowledgeable, trans-affirming provider as well as access prescription medication. Many insurance plans do not cover HRT. For trans folks without insurance coverage, the ongoing out-of-pocket expense can be challenging.

What is the impact of this care on the recipient’s life?

Estogen+ introduces a wide range of feminizing physical, emotional, and psychological changes that align with their gender identity. This often leads to a more positive emotional well-being, increased confidence, increased safety when in public, and better opportunities at employment and more.