Not all trans folks are privileged enough to be able to publicly come out, but many of those who do spend a significant amount of time and money to obtain any surgeries, clothing, beauty tools, and skills necessary to achieve their ideal look and expression of their gender.
In October 2015, professional hair and makeup artist Birgitte Philippedes-Delaney partnered with another makeup artist, Todd Harris, to start the Trans Beauty Clinic. About once each month, the two invite members of the trans community to New York City’s Church of the Village to participate in hair and makeup demos, so the attendees can learn beauty and grooming skills they might not have had the chance to develop.
“I’m very lucky that I’m still that my parents are being supportive. They pay for all my medication. I’m on their insurance, so that definitely helps. Clothing, they’re very kind of iffy on just because they’re so afraid of me growing out of it as my body changes,” said Emily Gallagher, a Trans Beauty Clinic attendee. “I don’t have a lot of good clothing. Makeup, I don’t have a lot of. So it’s all kind of hard since I didn’t grow up getting all this stuff figured out over time.”
The founders self-fund the clinic, but have also been able to source product donations from beauty brands that they’ve developed good working relationships with. After the demos wrap, attendees can take home a free handful of makeup or hair tools in brand new condition.
The clinic also functions as a safe space for trans people to meet each other.
“I come here really to socialize and for the safe space,” explained Brycen Gaines, a Trans Beauty Clinic attendee. “Of course, you get the good tools about the beauty and stuff like that. But also it’s more important to be with community.”
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