The idea for the Trans Beauty Clinic came from hair and makeup artist Birgitte Philippides-Delaney, who wanted to put her 20-plus years of experience to work for the greater good. “I have many trans friends and thought that if anyone could use my help, they could,” she says. The scarification rituals of grooming are not always intuitive, as those of us who have mangled ourselves with eyelash curlers can attest.
And without the trial-and-error period of childhood and adolescence, most trans people have a steep learning curve. “When I was a kid, I used to watch my dad in the mirror shaving, and then I’d take a comb and pretend I was shaving,” says Harris, who cofounded the project with Philippides-Delaney in 2015. “But most trans people grow up in hiding, so they don’t pick up that kind of knowledge and experience along the way. Once they’re finally free to be the gender they really are, they’re left to figure things out for themselves.”
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