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Meet Melissa


Melissa's story

Electrolysis Support Fund recipient

Melissa (she/her) is a 57-year-old trans woman who had known she was a woman since the age of 15. She began seeing a hormone doctor and a sexual therapist in 2014 and had her first surgeries in 2018 and 2022. Permanent hair removal is needed before her bottom surgery, and she has already found a provider who specializes in hair removal for LGBTQ+ clients.

Since Melissa has been in transition, residents of her rural trailer park have bullied and verbally abused her. They frequently harass her about her surgery plans. When she is able to complete her hair removal and bottom surgery, Melissa plans to live fully as a woman and expects to have more safety in the trailer park. This step is crucial for her to feel secure and live authentically in her community.

Melissa's lifelong interests include trapping, tanning hides, and fishing. Her friends say she is easy to talk to and fun to be around. She loves being independent and living on her own in a rural area with woods, lakes, and streams.

Melissa's timeline

  • Award Granted

    April 16, 2024

    Melissa 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 Melissa'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.