5 Simple Ways to Support Your LGBTQIA Clients
Pride parades might be celebratory now, but the Pride movement began as a protest against the violent and unfair treatment that the community was facing. It was not uncommon for LGBT youth to be facing homelessness as a result of their sexuality or gender identity and many of them found safety in the LGBT communities in large cities. One of the most well known of these spaces is the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, which is where the first uprising began in 1969 on a night of a raid which took a turn for the worse. In response, the patrons decided to stand their ground. On the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, the LGBT community marched the streets of New York and thus, the Pride parade was born.
While the world has shifted for the better in many regards, there is still a really long way to go and a lot that each of us can do to make the world brighter, safer and more equal for everyone in the LGBTQ plus community.
While London Lash is still a relatively young and small company in the grand scheme of things, we do have a growing staff and lash community who we seek to support in as many ways as we can - the bigger our team and our audience gets, the more perspectives we get, the privilege of hearing from which we’re so unbelievably grateful for and proud to support.
As part of our commitment to better represent the LGBTQIA community we wanted to help you support your LGBT clients if it’s something that you’re not too sure about. Here are five simple things that you can do to ensure your LGBT clients - long-time and potential - know that you hold a safe space for them.
Have a statement on your socials, website or booking form that you are LGBTQ friendly and welcome all people to book in with you. Knowing from the very beginning that a space is safe and inclusive makes all the difference for marginalised people when they’re looking for someone to provide the treatment(s) they’d love without any fear of judgement. For male or masculine clients, it may be a daunting experience entering a salon seeking a (historically) feminine treatment, therefore they may be inclined to seek a place which is immediately accepting of them.
Include an optional field on your registration/booking/consultation forms for clients to state their personal pronouns when booking in. Including the option to add pronouns is possibly the easiest way to show support - it normalises different gender identities and takes nothing away from anyone. For an extra level of support make your clients aware that they can update this at any time, should their gender identity/expression change at any time in the future.
Get some additional training on how to service a trans client base and accommodate any additional needs. Clients taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or frequently changing medications can increase risk of allergic reaction and can also affect their retention. Professional Beauty have recently introduced some fantastic resources to help your business become more accessible for your trans clients, so make sure you check this out!
Diversify your instagram feed by posting more content with clients from the LGBT community (with their permission, of course) or reposting work from LGBT creators if this is something that you do in terms of content. One simple way to highlight that your salon is LGBT friendly is to simply write something like ‘gorgeous 3D lashes for my amazing client Lizzie [they/them]’ - be sure they are happy for you to use their name if you are doing this, as you of course don’t want to inadvertently ‘out’ someone, and ensure you’re using the correct pronouns. Post images of your gay clients who also receive eyelash extensions to show that this typically feminine treatment is not becoming popular for everyone.
Show your support during Pride month! There are lots of ways that you can support the community! The best thing you can do if you’re new to this is to learn - look into the history of Pride, speak to LGBT community members and get a better feel for the kind of challenges that the community faces each and every day. As well as this, just take the opportunity to celebrate and uplift the LGBT community as a whole!
The Pride flag as of 2022, which features black and brown lines to represent the people of colour within queer spaces; light pink, light blue and a white line to represent the trans community; and the most recent addition is the inclusion of the intersex flag.
Why not take a look at our dedicated blog post on creating stunning lash maps for your LGBT clients here?
If you’d like to learn more about betterment of the world for the LGBTQIA plus community, here are a few trusted Charities and Educational resources which will be able to provide you with a wealth of knowledge: