LGBTQ+ Pride Month

This Beauty Clinic Creates Safe Space For Trans People To Learn About Grooming And Makeup

"They glow with confidence, and many have told us that they are finally starting to see their 'true selves.' "

Beauty can be a powerful tool for people to express their true selves through creativity.  But for people who are transgender, beauty and grooming often take on whole other levels of significance. Being assigned a different gender at birth means most people who are transgender never grew up learning how to apply makeup, or how to groom, in a way that matches their gender identity. Knowing how to do proper makeup and grooming also gives people the power to make their exterior match what they feel inside. In an effort to give transgender people a safe space to learn these tools, Trans Beauty Clinic was created. 

The mission of the monthly interactive beauty clinic is to empower transgender men and women through workshops and demonstrations with professionals to learn grooming techniques, and how to do hair and makeup. 

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

Trans Beauty Clinic was founded on October 13, 2015 by celebrity hair and makeup artist, and LGBTQ activist, Birgitte Philippides-Delaney. She explained to A Plus via email that she always wanted to help the trans community with her beauty knowledge and expertise. After going to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center and meeting Christina Herrera, a trans program director, Trans Beauty Clinic began to take hold as Herrera provided advice on how to start the first clinic.

After completing a few clinics at the center, makeup artist and beauty expert, Todd Harris, volunteered and told Philippides-Delaney that he'd like to partner with her to help expand and sustain the programs.

With the two of them working together, Trans Beauty Clinic has continued to grow.

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

Celebrity hair and makeup artists have donated their time to the Trans Beauty Clinic, and beauty companies such as Alcone NYC, Hot Tools, Hourglass Cosmetics, Milani, Bumble and Bumble have donated products.

Since 2015, Trans Beauty Clinic has facilitated events at multiple locations in the New York City area including Sylvia's Place (the only LGBTQ youth homeless shelter in the city), St. Luke's In the Fields Church LGBT youth program, The LGBT Center, and the Church of the Village.

All of the clinics are free of charge and Trans Beauty Clinic is self-funded.

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

Harris and Philippides-Delaney spread the word for clinics using social media, word of mouth, trans groups, and nonprofit services.

A typical clinic runs between two and two-and-a-half hours and begins with assessing the personal needs of attendees. The co-founders told A Plus that beauty professionals then custom-tailor each lesson to the individual. There are usually between two and four beauty professionals at each clinic and they're placed with guests depending on their needs and experience. 

According to HuffPost, the clinic has already helped about 100 people in person, and many more online through their tutorials on Facebook and Instagram.

The clinics aren't strictly about beauty lessons. "Our professionals work on self-esteem and confidence building through hands-on demos of proper makeup and grooming skills," Harris and Philippides-Delaney explain.

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

The results of the clinics are apparent. "The difference between when our guests come in to our clinic and when they leave is quite striking, and it's not only because of the makeup and grooming demos and tips that they have received." 

"They glow with confidence, and many have told us that they are finally starting to see their 'true selves.' "

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

Philippides-Delaney and Harris explain that when guests attend clinics, they're able to forget about their troubles if they're having a bad day, week, or problems in their lives.

What's more, the clinics serve as a space for members of the trans community to meet each other and connect.

"Many tears have been shed in our clinics and it has been extremely gratifying for our beauty professionals to see the difference that they can make in someone's life with their beauty/grooming talents."

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

One success story from the clinic involves regular attendee Tiffany Miles, who came to New York City from Kentucky after she was disowned by her family. She was homeless and living in a shelter when she heard about a Trans Beauty Clinic. She was attending for six months straight, learning about hair and wig styling and makeup. Now, she has a job working at a local CVS near where the Trans Beauty Clinic was held.

With success stories like these, there are more plans for Trans Beauty Clinic. Philippides-Delaney and Harris want to expand nationally so people across the country can have access to programs. 

To accomplish the goal, Trans Beauty Clinic needs support and funding where beauty professionals in their communities can volunteer their time and services.

Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic
Courtesy of Trans Beauty Clinic

Philippides-Delaney and Harris concluded, "We hope that more people will know about our clinics and get the help that they want and need."

(H/T: Yahoo)

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