Recently, a stylist and salon owner in Traverse City, Michigan, stated in a since-removed Facebook post that her salon would not accept clients who are gender non-conforming. This has prompted a response from a hair products manufacturer who have since severed ties.
"If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman please seek services at a local pet groomer,” read a Facebook post for Christine Geiger’s salon account. “You are not welcome at this salon. Period. Should you request to have a particular pronoun used please note we may simply refer to you as "hey you". Regardless of MI HB 4744. ”
MI HB 4744 is the code for Michigan hate crime law.
When her remarks came to the attention of hair product manufacturer Jack Winn Pro, a supplier to Geiger and her salon, Studio 8 Hair Lab, they issued a response on their Instagram:
"It has come to our attention that disturbing comments have been attributed to one of our products users. We want to make it clear that we disapprove of and reject hate speech in any form. Such actions go against the very values we hold dear and strive to uphold. The stylist who made those comments no longer has authorization to represent our brand or products."
In addition to rejecting Geiger’s rhetoric and ending their business relationship, the team at Jack Winn Pro announced they are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community by donating 15% of proceeds from select bundles to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998. The Trevor Project’s mission is to end LGBTQ suicide through donating, advocacy, volunteering, and education.
"For the last eight years, we’ve worked tirelessly to build a community that supports, empowers, and respects all stylists," reads a post on @jackwinnpro. “Beyond that, we believe everyone and everybody deserves support, empowerment, and respect. With over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills being considered in a majority of states across the country, it’s more important than ever to affirm the young people in your life.”
In an Instagram live, Founder Jack Winn emphasized their position. “Jack Winn Pro strongly supports the rights of LGTBTQ+ and it is an unwavering part of our core beliefs. You can be part of our community if you don’t agree, but you can’t be part of our community if you have hurtful things to say and you make people feel less than or other.”
Adding that as an openly gay man, “I have felt other before, and it can feel alone, but know that you are never alone, and there are people who love you and care about you and that you have value, and you have worth.”
After her first post, Geiger elaborated with a second post: “I have no issues with LGB. It’s the TQ+ that I’m not going to support. For those that don’t know what the + is for, it’s for MAP (Minor Attracted Person aka: pedophile) This stance was taken to insure that clients have the best experience and I am admitting that since I am not willing to play the pronoun game or cater to requests outside of what I perceive as normal this probably isn’t the best option for that type of client.”
Geiger spoke to the Associated Press, saying that as a small business owner she should be allowed to make decisions about who she accepts as a client. "I just don't want the woke dollar. I'd rather not be as busy than to have to do services that I don't agree with."
Geiger’s business is currently under investigation by the City of Traverse City to ascertain if Geiger is in violation of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance which states, in part: “It is the intent of the City of Traverse City that no person be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his or her civil rights or be discriminated against because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, physical or mental disability, family status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
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