It started with a transition
Our founder, Morgan, is a trans woman. She came out at the age of 27, and started her transition. She found a lot of information online about the big things – who to go to for HRT, the state of the waitlist for surgery, how the GIC process worked – but a complete lack of information about the little things that went into her transition, things like where to go and get hair extensions, where would be a good place to buy a new wardrobe, who sold women’s shoes that’d fit her size 12 feet.
Transition changes almost every aspect of your life overnight, and Morgan struggled find the resources and services she needed to assist her transition. Even worse, often what she did find actively worked against her sense of self, or made her feel unwanted and ashamed.
For example, when Morgan reached out to more than 30 hair extensionists in London to ask about extensions, disclosing her transgender status and asking questions about what would and wouldn’t be possible with her hair length, she heard back from only four. To her, this amounted to twenty six rejections of who she was. The same pattern was apparent for other services too – like getting laser hair removal, and even going to get her nails done for the first time. She often clung to big brands for perceived ‘safety’, which left her at a cost disadvantage too.
The same challenges are faced by trans men looking for their new wardrobe, or surgical interventions, or even things as simple as getting tattoos to hide mastectomy scars. It’s so important that they know their gender identity will be affirmed.
The reality is that those early stages of transition are really scary, and everything – even something as simple as figuring out if you can use a fitting room or go to a bathroom without feeling unsafe or judged – carries a much higher weight. Everything is big. Everything is impactful. And everything is scary.
It's a life long need
As Morgan continued her transition, she realised that whilst over time that hugely elevated fear somewhat dissipates, there’s always a need to understand who offers trans friendly services and ranges trans friendly products, and that it’s very hard to find companies other than through trial and error. And unfortunately, because of the fetish community, items like a tucking thong, or size 12 heels, can often be garnished with “sissy” or “crossdresser”, which can cause further problems as trans people try to affirm their gender identity internally. Mainstream, trans positive retailers can be hard to find.
And mainstream retailers that are doing the right thing – offering inclusive sizes and ranges, having clear anti-discrimination policies and making clear decisions in support of the transgender community often don’t have a place to shout about it.
So that’s why we exist – with a simple and clear mission. To make sure that transgender and non-binary people can find and access the shops and services they need without fear, and to help businesses understand how they can become more trans friendly with training, guidance and support whilst giving back to the transgender community. We’re excited to be here, making a difference.