LOUISIANA — Cosmetologists are joining forces with Louisiana’s cosmetological board to create a network of transgender support services.
The partnership is part of the Cosmetology Student Health Alliance (CSHA), which will launch this spring.
Cosmetologist Jennifer Smith, a transgender woman, said she has seen firsthand the importance of transgender health services.
“I’ve met transgender students, I’ve seen the importance transgender people have in the community,” Smith said.
“I’ve been in the medical field and the community has been great, but they haven’t really had the same support that I’ve had.
So we really wanted to get that across.
We wanted to create that network, and I think we’ve been able to do that.”
Smith said her colleagues at the Louisiana State Cosmetological Association have been supportive of her efforts to help transgender students.
“The LSSCA was supportive of us, because we wanted to bring this to the community, and we were really looking forward to the fact that we were bringing it to them, and that we could help them understand that they have to be comfortable and that they need to be supported,” she said.
The Cosmetical Student Health Network will include trans students and their friends and family.
“We will have a team that is made up of trans students, and our mission is to help them get support, and help them feel comfortable in the locker room and in the bathroom,” Smith added.
“And we will also work on things like how to identify as a trans student and get that help from other trans students in the same locker room, so that they can be supported, as well.”
The alliance will work to increase visibility and increase visibility of trans people, as the group is a new member of the Louisiana Cosmetogical Association.
“Transgender people are not seen as people who can be trusted and not trusted,” said Lauren Krawetz, president and CEO of the LSSA.
“We are very proud of the work we have done to be a leader in helping trans people and to help educate the public about our communities.”
The Cosmétological Student Health Association plans to open in 2018.