As we all know, finding the perfect hair salon that makes you feel at home and caters to all your needs can be a difficult task. It usually involves a lot of trial and error, which means dealing with miscommunication, awkwardness, and even some questionable haircuts. But, as frustrating as this process can be for the majority of us, for a transgender person, it’s can be even worse—sometimes even traumatizing—as they often face discrimation in salon spaces.
It’s for this exact reason that Barba Grooming Salon owners JP Gomez and Xavier Cruze came together in 2017 to launch Strands for Trans, a global movement that encourages hair salons and barbershops to be trans-friendly. Currently, over 7,500 businesses across all 50 states have already joined their mission.
Recently, Strands for Trans has set their sights on calling out anti-LGBTQ+ bills and the lawmakers responsible for their passing. In 2022 alone, over 240 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been filed so far—with the majority of them targeting the trans community, per NBC News’ analysis of data from the American Civil Liberties Union and the LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom for All Americans.
That’s why Strands for Trans joined forces with actor Billy Porter and influencer-poet Lynae Vanee to produce “Transphobe Takedowns”, a series of PSAs calling out politicians for introducing laws that negatively impact the trans community. These PSAs were inspired by the “Reads a Transphobe for Filth” scene in Porter’s show POSE, where Dominique Jackson’s character, Elektra, hits back at a transphobic complaint and reads a customer for filth.
Speaking on the goals of the series, Porter shared, “These politicians have no business trying to dictate and legislate who you are and are not allowed to be. Hell no.”
In addition to calling out bad legislation—and bad hair—these PSAs also encourage viewers to visit the Strands for Trans website where businesses can register to join their list of trans-friendly barbershops and salons as well as use their email templates to help condemn anti-trans laws to their lawmakers.
If you’re interested in joining the Strands for Trans movement, be sure to visit their website here or follow @strandsfortrans on Instagram.