Sephora begins offering free makeup classes for transgender customers

Sephora just became your favorite one-stop makeup shop all over again.

That’s because Cosmopolitan reports the beauty chain will start offering makeup classes that “cater specifically to those who identify as transgender or non-binary.” Beginning this month, Cosmo says the classes are part of their “Classes for Confidence” campaign that aims to educate shoppers and “already includes a beauty class called ‘Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer.'”

This latest set of courses titled, “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community,” are free of charge, according to Cosmo; they will be offered at all participating locations and consist of “90 minutes of personalized skincare advice, expert tips on color-correcting and color matching, and lessons on application techniques.”

To enroll in a class, shoppers can sign up on Sephora.com, and if you can’t make it into a store, Cosmo says customers can check out video tutorials on Youtube starting June 4 on the company’s Sephora Stands Youtube Channel.

 

Model campaigns to be first trans person of color on VS runway

There’s a first for everything, and one model is trying her best to break new ground in the fashion industry.

According to Cosmopolitan, model Leyna Bloom took to Twitter last week to tweet two stunning photos of herself in a bikini. But it was the caption that caught people’s attention — and spurred a movement: “Trying to be the 1st Trans model of color walk a Fashion show. 💕

With one single tweet, the model — who has already appeared on the runway for Chromat and The Blonds, says Cosmo — began a crusade to become the first transender model of color to walk the runway for the major lingerie brand. Cosmo reports that so far, the post garnered well over 100,000 retweets and 30,000 comments in support of Bloom’s campaign.

With people flocking to her support, Bloom knows that should she get the chance to appear in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, her presence on the runway has the potential to be game-changing.

“[That brand has] the power to set the tone, and that would be the biggest leap up to date,” she told Yahoo, according to Cosmo. “Can you imagine what that would do for our world? We all have unique stories; we are just different, and we have every right to be. We just want to be represented, and maybe they will want to represent us too.”

Rihanna responds to criticism of Fenty campaigns

In case we needed further proof that Rihanna is #goals, she decided to serve up some Twitter wisdom that made us all but confirm her perfection.

According to InStyle, the Fenty Beauty mogul/singer/designer took a moment to respond to a Twitter user who suggested that, in her next Fenty Beauty campaign, she cast a “trans girl” in the shoot. While the criticism seems to be coming from a place of inclusion, InStyle says Rihanna took a moment to explain why she won’t cast a transgender model just for the sake of it, writing the user a lengthy DM to share her thoughts on the issue.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years, but I don’t go around doing trans castings!” she said. “Just like I don’t do straight non trans women castings! I respect all women, and whether they’re trans or not is none of my business!”

Her message continued, sharing another reason why she hasn’t specifically included a trans model yet: she doesn’t want to treat them like a “token” item in her campaigns.

“I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used a convenient marketing tool!” she wrote. “Too often do I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike! There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy! It’s sad!”

And with that explanation, the Twitter user — who goes by the screen name “@lbertootero” — took a screenshot of her response and shared it on their account, accompanied by a caption that read, “When I thought she couldn’t teach me more…”

Amen to that.

 

Election Day brings increased representation

While Election Day 2017 was all about electing leaders in municipalities around the United States, it was also a time to usher in what may be a new era of increased representation in American politics.

According to The Hill, Andrea Jenkins — a city council candidate in Minneapolis — became “the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the United States” when she won the vote on Nov. 7.

Jenkins, who ran as a Democrat, campaigned on hot-button issues such as affordable housing and raising the minimum wage, says The Hill, with the newly-elected council member previously serving as a policy aide to council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden.

But Jenkins wasn’t the only one to break down barriers this Election Day. CBS News reports that in Virginia, transgender woman Danica Roem “unseated one of Virginia’s longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers,” making history as “the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature.”

The Democrat and former newspaper reporter not only made history, CBS News says Roem scored an additional victory on election night — defeating the candidate Del. Bob Marshall, who “sponsored a bill this year that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use.”

With diversity in people, practice and though making their way into local governments everywhere, perhaps the theme of this year’s election is best summed up by Roem herself:

“No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table.”

 

Doctor to perform free surgeries for transgender military members

One doctor is standing up for those who so bravely defend the United States every day.

According to the New York Daily News, following news of President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the United States military, Dr. Christine McGinn — a former Navy surgeon —  told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that she will perform any gender confirmation surgery schedules prior to the ban for free.

Dr. McGinn, who is also transgender, was nominated for the Navy’s flight surgeon of the year award in 2000, says the Daily News, and is also the founder of the Papillon Gender Wellness Center, a care center for those transitioning and their families.

Not only does McGinn see the need to provide these surgeries for free, the Daily News says she also argues that providing proper healthcare to transgender military members is actually cost-effective.

“I think the cost of getting rid of very well specialized, trained military service people is exceptionally larger than just taking care of them,” she said on CNN.

Yet, at a very basic level, McGinn just wants to ensure proper care for her fellow service members.

“If the commander-in-chief won’t take care of our veterans, our veterans will.”

 

Neary debuts in major fashion campaign

When a model makes their debut in a major fashion campaign, it is usually something worth noting. But when a model’s debut means a chance at more inclusivity, that’s something worth celebrating.

According to BustleShay Neary is the first trans plus size model to land a major fashion campaign,” starring in a spring/summer 2017 collaboration with UK-based retailer, Yours Clothing.

The brand, which offers “modern, funky plus-size clothing up to a size 36,” according to Mic, hand-selected Neary to front the campaign, which aims to connect all people to fashion regardless of their size or their gender identity. When Neary was tapped to help in this mission, Mic says she made inclusivity a top priority.

“In January, we started collaborating on a project for a simple guide for transgender customers,” Neary said. “They have a large clientele of trans individuals, and happen to get a lot of questions for advice on how to dress. Of course I wanted to be a part of this. Any form of guidance is always helpful when you’re starting your transition. I picked out clothes I thought represented my own style, and they sent me them.”

In Neary’s collection for Yours Clothing, she also made sure to include a range of styles to suit many tastes, with pieces offered in bold florals to edgy rocker looks, says Bustle. What’s more is that Neary seems to have found a perfect match in working with the retailer, reports Bustle, offering that they are not creating an inclusive market “for the ticket. They’re doing it because they genuinely understand their consumer.”

As for Neary herself, she is also not just doing it for the ticket; she told Bustle that she hopes other trans people see her and know that they can celebrate themselves.

“I come from an older generation of trans people, where you were fearful to be spotted for being trans,” she said. “I focused on passability. Now, what I want to tell trans [people] is just be yourself. Whatever comes along with that, be yourself. You don’t have to hit either side of the [gender] margin, and your style can represent that. If you want to put on a dress and a blazer, you rock that.”

Way to go, Shay!

‘SYTTD’ to feature trans bride

All brides deserve to feel special on their wedding day — that’s why TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” is welcoming all brides.

According to the Huffington Post, the long-standing New York-based show will feature their first transgender bride, hairstylist and makeup artist Gabrielle Gibson, in their March 25 episode.

The 33-year-old New Jersey native took to Facebook to announce her spot on the show, says HuffPost, sharing a photo of herself in a V-neck lace mermaid gown while standing on the floor of Kleinfeld Bridal next to consultant Shay and Kleinfeld fashion director Randy Fenoli.

Calling the experience “an absolute dream” in her Facebook post, HuffPost says Gibson is set to marry fiancé Jaden Rogers this November in a “country chic” wedding. While Gibson certainly enjoyed her “Say Yes” experience, she also felt her appearance served more of a purpose than just showing off a beautiful wedding gown.

“With everything going on in the media surrounding violence towards trans women of color,” she told PinkNews, according to HuffPost, “I wanted to show that we are people who just want to live and be happy.”

We wish Gibson and her fiancé all the best — and kudos to you, “Say Yes”!

Sorority to accept trans women

It looks like the Alpha Chi Omega sorority is about to live up to its Twitter bio: “Real. Strong. Women.”

According to Glamour, the sorority announced a month ago that it will begin to accept transgender women to all of its chapters nationwide — a move that Alpha Chi Omega national president Angela Costley Harris wrote aligns with their mission:

“Alpha Chi Omega exists to develop and empower strong women,” Glamour says she wrote to sorority members. “If we are to continue to live this important mission in today’s world, Alpha Chi Omega must be inclusive of all who live and identify as women, regardless of their gender assigned at birth.”

So far, Glamour shares that response by active Alpha Chi Omega members has been positive, with several members around the country offering welcoming messages of acceptance.

While there are others who have expressed concerns, perhaps the move is best summed up by the director of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who shared with Glamour that Alpha Chi Omega’s decision “demonstrates the growing awareness of gender identity going beyond the binary and a recognition and acceptance that gender is not binary.”

 

NWHL protects transgender players

A brand new policy adopted by the National Women’s Hockey League allows players to express their gender identities freely — and with protection.

According to The Cut, the NWHL became the first professional sports league with an openly transgender player back in October; after playing one season as Hailey Browne for the Buffalo Beats, the player came out as a transgender man named Harrison Browne. Following Browne’s announcement, The Cut reports that NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan personally tracked the revisions made on the NWHL’s website to Browne’s player profile and pronouns.

Now, the NWHL is ensuring that all players have a level playing field — or rink — no matter their gender identities. The Cut says the NWHL enacted a policy that emphasizes the league’s support for their players:

“The NWHL ‘recognizes all forms of gender expression,’ and ‘therefore supports athletes choosing to express their gender beyond the binary of female and male.’ There are now guidelines in the NWHL that indicate which players are eligible to participate, the first being ‘people designated female at birth, regardless of their gender identity.’ In addition, a person transitioning from male to female is eligible to play in the league if she has declared that her gender identity is female, a declaration that ‘cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.’

Furthermore, the league presented stipulations blocking testosterone hormone therapy, says The Cut, specifically in transgender men while “transgender women athletes will be required to demonstrate testosterone levels equal to those of cis-female athletes.”

With these policies in place to create a playing environment open to all, The Cut reports Rylan told the New York Times that is is much more than just an important step forward in the world of sports.

“It’s a unique opportunity to continue to move the conversation forward and accelerate that social progress and to be that benchmark, and to remain approachable and available for these discussions.”