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Meet Merci


Merci's story

Electrolysis Support Fund recipient

Merci (she/her) is a 28-year-old Black trans woman. Transitioning has been a long and hard road, especially living in a rural red-purple state that presents unique challenges in getting care. Getting her surgery consultation alone took being on a two-year waitlist, and that was without hair removal or any of the necessary letters. Merci has spent the majority of the past two years in recovery and eventually opened the first LGBTQ sober living house, acting as its first manager.

Most of Merci's day revolves around helping other addicts and alcoholics get into treatment. "I hope being at the intersection of being of color and transgender helps people see that addiction doesn’t discriminate," she shares. In her downtime, she assists her sponsees and spends time with her fiancée.

"Receiving this care will mean being able to not have to smother my face in makeup to look acceptable, and go about my life without facing open aggression and misgendering," Merci explains. She expresses profound gratitude for the grant, acknowledging that the debt from life and transitioning would have made it impossible to accomplish what she needs to do, or at least very financially burdensome. "Thank you so much!"

Merci's timeline

  • Award Granted

    April 7, 2024

    Merci was awarded a grant toward permanent hair removal!

  • Care Received

    May 20, 2024

    A payment has been made toward Merci's 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 Merci'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.