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Meet Rissa


Rissa's story

Electrolysis Support Fund recipient

Rissa (she/her) is a 37-year-old adopted South Korean disabled trans woman who grew up in Wisconsin. She moved to Minnesota six years ago hoping to be able to live a better life. She has tried for many years to get electrolysis and hair removal while struggling with trauma and PTSD. She lost her business a few years back when she came out into the world; currently, she relies on SSDI income to survive. Despite her best efforts, hair removal care was financially out of reach: as a result, she has stayed mostly indoors for years.

Rissa is a Anime Vtuber turned Hybrid Face Streamer who has spent the last few years working on her streaming career. First and foremost though, she is an avid filmmaker and photographer.

"I am excited to put the past behind me—to move forwards and venture back out into the world," Rissa shares. "For too long, agoraphobia and fear of judgement for how my face looked kept me indoors. Its time for me to continue onward and experience all the things life has in store for me."

Rissa's timeline

  • Award Granted

    April 11, 2024

    Rissa was awarded a grant toward permanent hair removal!

  • Care Received

    April 29, 2024

    A payment has been made toward Rissa'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 Rissa'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.