At the moment, I have two (many three?) beautiful trans clients. I know that we all have trans clients, but I feel that as a profession (mostly individually, because the AEA has been a terrific resource of support) … we need to do more publicly to support the trans community.
I’m always surprised when I see websites that list “trans-friendly electrologists.” I don’t get it. For me, this listing is odd/unnecessary because I can’t imagine any electrologist who would be “trans-UNfriendly.”
Saying “trans-friendly” is like saying “human-friendly.” Makes no sense. Being “trans” is “in and of itself” what the person is, and this is totally and completely honorable.
We have all heard the horrific life stories of our people, and it’s not enough to simply remove their hairs. Just “doing our job” may be the case for the majority of our clients; but not with the trans community.
Even in a very small way, YOU can do a lot. I “talk it up” with my clients, and having Bruce/Caitlin “come out” is a good way to introduce the subject. Indeed, I’m critical of Bruce and Vanity Fair, because being trans should NOT be based on “how you look!”
I would rather have seen Caitlin schlepping around the house in a housedress making cookies for the grand kids. Why? Because a nice elderly trans-woman is, and should be, acknowledged and appreciated … not just the “hotties!”
I knew “Virginia” and “Christine.” They were fine elderly women. They did not attempt to be anything other than exactly what they were.
Most trans women are not “hot” and are not models or movie stars … just as most women are not “hot” and are not perfect. The Photoshopped versions of women are obnoxious and it makes me angry. Caitlin perpetrated this nonsense.
That’s my only criticism of Bruce (and how we treat women in general) … however, I’m glad for Caitlin and the opportunity for all of us to fully recognize the historical suffering of trans people … and lend our support.
Be a big mouth on the issue. It’s time!
Please read/watch the following when you have time. This is real and the final phase of acceptance and human rights … at least in Western culture.
I would estimate about a quarter of my clients are trans and I go out of my way to be welcoming and affirming of them, even posting community event flyers, business cards for other local resources they may need, etc. It drives a lot of conversation with my cis clients wanting to know more about them and their struggles.
I can say that, when I was at school, there was very transphobic student there and another half dozen or so that were somewhere between indifferent and mildly unsupporting. I had requested as many trans clients and tough people as possible while I was at school, figuring that, if I could conquer the hardest hairs, the easy ones would be cake (and the other students were quite happy to accommodate me, preferring to only work on the easy ones, often having to be forced to work on at least one person per day).
The problem student would go out of her way to use the wrong pronouns and be as insulting as possible. One day, in front of the rest of the class, I asked if she was stupid… and pointed out that nobody needs as much work as the trans population, that they tend to belong to a very tight knit community where one will share their experiences with dozens of others, and that, with as hard as we have to work to bring business in when we start out, why would you want to chase people away just to be rude? This student didn’t get it, but the rest of them did.
I’ve also had clients come in and tell me stories of local transphobic electrologists, which, again, just baffles me. The good news, however, is it means more business for me. The fact that no other local electrologists that I know of want to do sessions longer than one hour or do pre-SRS/GRS removal at all also serves me well.
I also get a lot of trans clients coming in post-laser for final cleanup or, more likely, after hair starts coming back in force, and they report that the local laser places generally aren’t any friendlier than the other local electrologists (then again, I could get into an entirely separate rant about what the local laser places do and say to their clients regardless of their gender identity).
When I was being interviewed for electrology school by Art Hinkel, he told me (and all prospective students) that work would be done on “transsexuals.” At the time, I didn’t know the meaning of the term.
Art explained it and told me (and all prospective students) that if they “had a problem with that” they could not enroll in school. And, that’s an appropriate way to “weed out” stupid bigoted people!
Most of us had no prior contact with trans-women before school, but by the time we graduated we were all supporters. Most of us formed life-long friendships.
My mom gave me a “surprise birthday party” when I turned 30. She invited all my lifeguard friends (I had been a lifeguard), all my teacher friends (I had been a school teachers) AND (by mistake) ten of my trans clients.
The trans clients showed up in full regalia! I was nervous that the thing was going to be a bomb. My friend “Lucy” (another electrologist) had me smoke some marijuana so I would be less anxious.
By the end of the party, the lifeguards were dancing with the trans-girls. I mean it was “feathers everywhere.”
The point is that when people actually meet and know a trans person … everything changes. Yep, even the macho lifeguards were totally accepting and it was a party NOT to be forgotten.
I think one has to be a woman to understand what German girl has been
From Michael Bono:
That’s my only criticism of Bruce (and how we treat women in general) … however, I’m glad for Caitlin and the opportunity for all of us to fully recognize the historical suffering of trans people
Then why did you call her by a male name?
I dont have a lot of opinion On Caitlin Jenner, her experiences as a transperson wont match what 99.9 % of transpeople go through either publicly or in her private life.However as Emacipated Elect points out, for every small percentage of bigots in the industry , there are a lot more respectful and non-bigoted people in the industry. As transpeople, we do vote with our wallets much in the same way we ignore the bigots in real life, to take away their power.
Maybe I should ask “Jack Landon” for his opinion .
"I will suggest that when XXXX (German Girl) is back in Germany that she call and talk with Beate … in their own language and “girl to girl.”
This was written by Michael on a private email to me dated on February 5, 2014.
He probably does not even remember having written these words, but here they are. (I hope no one is offended by disclosing some of the content of the email).
The point is that Michael recommends Beate because he trusts her, first as a good professional, and secondly as an honest woman. At that time, the German girl needed someone very special to trust. Someone with a “maternal instinct”.
Do not you think this speaks for itself?
I believe in the accomplished facts, not words, and the fact is that Michael thought that Beate was the right person.
Personally I think we’ve come a long way, and bigots are dwindling. Although in my opinion, we are still far from providing a decent treatment. And I do not mean just using the proper pronoun, I think this is not important. I mean, for example, the fact of seeing this group as a good business opportunity.
Excess hair affects all kinds of people, regardless of gender. Become a specialist in certain types of cases should be on merit, rather than take advantage of a shameful social discrimination.
You’re very good to and trusting of your friends Josepha.It’s a quality I admire, even if I think it is sometimes misguided.
Just for kicks and giggles, I pulled up my trusty kijiji and did a search for electrolysis in my local area. Here’s the results:
One page, selection is pretty limited. Two of the 10 or so ads 2 caught my eye, I almost thought they were the same person but nope, different contact details completely. Here’s the ads:
IN MY …HOME ESTHETIC STUDIO. I AM A PROFESSIONAL AND EXPERIENCED ELECTROLOGIST AND ESTHETICIAN. A FRIENDLY BILINGUAL SERVICE IN A QUIET AND RELAXED ATMOSPHERE…(only for women) EXTREMELY CLEAN. IL ME FERA UN GRAND PLAISIR DE VOUS SERVIR EN FRANCAIS.
Certified Electrologist now taking new clients (for women only).
New Appointments will be scheduled for July or later.
Free Consultation (includes a free 15 min. appointment)
15 min - $25
30 min - $35
60 min - $60
For more information please reply to this post and I will get back to you within 1 business day. You can also visit my website at:
(copy into your url)
Now when such services go out of their way to advertise they are only for women, what do you think they are saying? Would you as a transperson go to an establishment that conveys themselves like this, thinking “I’m a woman too” or would such phrasing give you pause enough to move on to the establishment that states openly they welcome transgender clients? I know what I’d do,I vote with my wallet and run dont walk to Veronica at Time for you ( who’s great by the way). And that’s exactly where I refer a lot of clients. You’ll see her ad up there too, not looking for clients, but looking for an electrologist to work with her because she gets more business as a result of being open and accepting. The market economy works, and if you are discriminatory, then your business will fail.
There’s a term often bantied around by transpeople, that being stealth.The idea behind it is that these women( and they are women both in thought pattern and appearance) try to not be recognized as transpeople at all, in order to avoid conflict and bigotry in their lives. But whether stealth, or not, these are women first and foremost. And I would bet nearly none of those women wear feathers to parties though some drag queens do ( who incidentally often do not identify as transpeople or women at all).But whether they successfully attain stealth or not, they have every right to be addressed as women, and treated as any other woman and with respect. There simply is no place for misgendering or bigotry ( which happens anyway) and the market has shown that such practises will cause an otherwise viable business to fail every time. Voting with your wallet works.
The unfortunate reality is that for most transpeople, which electrologist they choose is the least of their concerns. We are far too busy trying not to lose our jobs because of the perceptions of other people. Trying to get in and out of the grocery store without a half dozen snide comments from the clerk ( we learn pretty quickly which lineups to get into, and which not to, more voting with our wallets) . We learn what hours it is safe to walk down our streets without being stalked , or worse assualted or killed because of our gender identity or thown in prison ( yes actual prison) because someone objects to which bathroom we use or have our children taken away because some ex equates trans with perversion. Or worried about being turned down with our bank to our own accounts, because someone thinks our voice doesnt match whats in their records. These are just a few items of what I and a million other transpeople face every day.
Despite that however, while I encourage any professional to be accepting and courteous to transpeople, it comes off as less genuine when that person has a track record of disrespecting or making unwelcome comments about people of that very same group, suddenly on a bandwagon of acceptance for profit. Transpeople have a voice, and more and more often, they are using it. If I was looking for a role model, I’d probably look to Laverne Cox or someone like her who has artfully and consistently fought for transgender righta and freedoms and woked to change the processes that are funneling transpeople of color into our prison systems… I probably wouldnt look to a Caitlin Jenner, whose focus has been on themselves and happen to be publicly visible
Whelp Seana, you seem to have done it again. You are a great advocate for this new movement for the transgender community, don’t get me wrong… but lashing out on hairtell probably isn’t the best outlet to make progress happen, it only sends this forum and its members in a backward direction.
I’ve bit my lip on this subject for a while, but my view on the whole transgender/agender thing you might find a little more extreme then most of the people on this forum.
On another blog, I have been “fighting” with a guy on this issue; and the following was my last post to him:
Interesting that my first and original post was critical of Bruce Jenner.
I was not negative because he’s “trans,” but because of the continuation of the notion that only “hot” good-looking trans people are worthy of note. It seems that we only recognize trans-women when they can “pass.” And, that’s an issue for me.
Most trans women are not models or movie stars; they are just normal or sometimes odd-looking (like most of us). Furthermore, and my main point: still only “hot” sexually attractive women get publicity and notice (like self-centered “Kim.”).
Women get publicity for physical attributes ONLY? Why not celebrate women of science? Women of letters? Women of medicine? No, just a nice BUTT and that’s it! (Not that I don’t admire a “nice one,” mind you.)
THAT was my original point . . . but you went off on my statement of acceptance for “trans people.” Sorry, but I do “honor” all people, and “trans people” are no exception.
Whether this is, as you say, a “mental condition only?” I don’t know and I don’t care. See, I fully support people with all forms of “mental illness” because that’s undoubtedly the majority of all of us.
Those with serious “mental illness” include Beethoven, Sir Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Van Gogh and probably most the greatest “minds” of all time. It’s just the nature of genius.
Still, I’m annoyed that “Vanity Fair” has finally put an OLDER “woman” of 65-years-old on the cover. This is GREAT news for older “invisible” women! Except this woman has a penis. Sensationalism!
I’m not a big fan of Bruce/Caitlin. I’m not a fan of “Vanity Fair” at the moment for sensationalizing what should be a QUIET and thoughtful issue.
Just so you are aware, gender Identity Disorder has been DELISTED for several years in the DSM. Please stop making assertions of a medical basis on a group you are’nt a part of, unless you have suddenly completed medical school. You are insulting and alienating an entire sector of society.
My “point” on physical appearance is personal. During my time in Europe and my many lectures in Holland, “Monique” would often lecture with me. Monique (male to female transgender) was a physician, highly intelligent, wrote a book called “Ik Monique” and was my friend. She did NOT “pass” at all.
At one of my last lectures in Holland I was deeply saddened to learn that Monique had committed suicide. I believe that a part of her difficulty was the never-ending reaction she encountered by the public. Again, “appearance only” should not be the determining factor in how we accept people.
All women suffer far more critical physical scrutiny than men. It’s unfair! It’s wrong!
I really think that Caitlyn appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair is a step in the right direction. In the interview the thing that struck me the most was this, “Bruce always had to tell a lie. Everyday he had a secret. Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. I’m free.” Still, I thought there was a lot of ignorance and sensationalism in the media by how the story unfolded.
It is strange, in the almost four years that Michael participates in Hairtell, I have never seen him insult anyone. Instead I saw many personal insults directed at him. Old arrogant, asshat, bigot, spy, conspirator, are some of the nice adjectives that have been dedicated to him.
I have had my differences with Michael, but I’ve never felt offended by his words. Personally, I’d rather hear the truth (however hard this may be) before a nice lie that makes me feel good.
Of course, my problem is that the thing I appreciate most in people is, above all, honesty.
Michael, you are a great guy in many, many ways, but most of all, you are the most ardent defender of ALL women, which makes you Man of the Year in my eyes… Thank you for all your contributions here. You keep Hairtell interesting and thought provoking on many levels. It never hurts to stimulate deeper thinking about a subject.