“Despite the huge rise in recognition for gender fluidity during 2015,
there’s still a lot of work to be done. With LGBTQI nightlife venues
closing left right and centre, sometimes it can feel like the physical
queer community is fading quickly. More so, the gap between prominent
transgender stories – such as Caitlyn Jenner’s – and the reality of
living life as a trans person is a widening gap, with reports of trans
deaths and saddening statistics appearing on our news feeds all too
often. With identity and image often hugely important in discovering
your identity as an LGBTQI person, it can often be a daunting experience
to explore subverting gender identity in a culture that rewards rigid
beauty roles and categorises all products with a male/female divide.

Open Barbers are one organisation challenging these gendered norms. Offering
pay-what-you-can haircuts aimed at LGBTQI people, directors Felix Lane
and Greygory Vass are combatting the exclusion of queer people from the
beauty industry by offering the community a safe and supportive space to
experiment with self-image. Their current salon also doubles up as a
meet-up space, with free tea and coffee and a zine library. In the midst
of their current crowdfunder campaign
for a new permanent home, we asked co-director Felix Lane to break down
what it takes to create an accessible, affordable, queer friendly hair

Read on….