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Meet Maia


Maia's story

Electrolysis Support Fund recipient

Maia (she/her) is a 32-year-old trans woman pursuing a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering while serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Gender-affirming care can be covered for those serving on active duty, but for reserve Marines, military insurance will only cover hormones and therapy. As a student, Maia cannot afford additional insurance or to pay for hair removal out of pocket.

Maia is a researcher currently using machine learning to develop new manufacturing processes with multi-material 3D printing that optimize weight and strength ratios. She hopes to eventually apply this towards bio scaffolding for growing organs or towards developing improved prosthetic devices.

As a Marine, Maia is frequently in environments where shaving or using makeup to hide beard shadow is not always easy. "The mission and my Marines are always my first priority. While my appearance is never a top concern, feeling comfortable in my own body translates to improved self-confidence and better job performance," Maia shares.

Receiving support for hair removal will significantly improve Maia's quality of life, helping her feel more comfortable and confident in her identity while allowing her to focus on her duties and academic pursuits without the added stress of managing facial hair.

Maia's timeline

  • Award Granted

    April 8, 2024

    Maia was awarded a grant toward permanent hair removal!

Grant details

$2,000 towards gender-affirming care.

TikTok-a-Thon grantee

About Hair Removal: Femme Award

On average, it costs $2,300+ for Maia's care.

What is it?

Point of Pride provides grants to trans femme people seeking hair removal on their face, neck, or an area of the body in preparation for bottom surgery.

What is life like for a person who needs this care?

For trans femme folks, particularly trans femmes of color, access to facial hair removal often equates to safety against anti-trans violence or discrimination. It's common for applicants to note issues with employment and public safety, particularly if their facial hair is dark or thick. Electrolysis and laser hair removal services are often deemed cosmetic and therefore not covered by health insurance plans.

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

Access to hair removal often leads to a more positive emotional well-being, increased confidence, increased safety when in public, and better opportunities at employment and more.