With World Pride transforming the streets of Sydney into a glittering all-out celebration of love, inclusivity and acceptance, we’re thrilled to hear of initiatives within our incredible industry that work to support important causes that fight for the LGBTQIA+ community. One such collaboration currently taking place is the joining of PALOMA Salon and Transcend Australia, who work in support of young trans, gender diverse and non-binary children.

This World Pride, Paloma Salon is working with Transcend Australia to offer complimentary haircuts to trans, gender diverse and non-binary young people, offering up to 10 complimentary haircuts each week.

Here, we speak with Paloma Rose Garcia and explore this incredible initiative in further detail.

TJM: How did the connection between yourself and Transcend Australia begin, and what it involves?
PRG: I came across the organization just through my own enquiry. I really think what this organization is doing is amazing and really important, as a huge pillar of ours at PALOMA is inclusivity. Understanding the daily struggles of this community that they face every day is very saddening and I think that as hairdressers, we have an incredible amount of opportunity to give back and assist with the way people look and feel. I wanted to create a really strong campaign in support of Transcend Australia. I love Pride as it’s such an amazing time of celebration and love, and it’s been amazing working with them.

TJM: As hairdressers and members of the hairdressing industry, what is our responsibility to the LGBTQIA+ community and how can we support/raise awareness?
PRG: Well I can only speak for myself and can’t really speak for anyone else but the responsibility that I have taken is to enquire more and strive to understand more. This opportunity that I have to give back through this particular campaign for example was allocating 30 haircuts that were being donated back to the community. Transcend is working with their network in filling up these appointments for young people – aged 12 to 25 – who identify as transgender, diverse or non binary. They have an opportunity to claim this great new haircut, and all they have to do is just fill out the form which goes through Transcend and is then directed to me. Once I started to get the framework of the campaign in place, working with my Head of Communications, we would work with Transcend.

TJM: Constant education surrounding inclusive language is such an important element of any business. What does contant education mean for you as a salon owner?
PRG: It really is everyone’s own personal journey. If you’re wanting to understand more about the community you can go to events, go on social media, read up on the community, get engaged with different organizations and just gather more information for yourself, hold meaningful conversations with close friends and maybe if you’ve got clients in the industry, understand more and and I would just always be asking the question. Yeah, it’s definitely, you know, learning things like we should never assume anyone’s pronouns which is a very simple thing. I think it’s a social responsibility for everyone in our industry and is such an important social responsibility.

TJM: What you think the power of an amazing new haircut is?
PRG: For this community, if they have never felt connected to the way that they’ve presented from birth you are giving them a tool to connect more greatly to how they’re feeling. That’s a huge daily struggle of what they might how they would get misgendered. And if you’re assisting with that to eliminate, then I think that’s quite profound. Ultimately, we all know what it feels like to be disrespected or not feel seen or heard so I always want to go out of my way to make everyone feel loved and comfortable.

For more information on Transcend Australia, click here. Follow Paloma Salon here.