"The gender binary is soooo over." - Why I chose to have an all-gender waxing salon.

Did you know I'm a gender studies major? That's right, I got my gender studies degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2011. I thought I'd go onto graduate school and become a professor, but turns out I absolutely HATE homework! BUT I absolutely love discussions about gender. It is in every part of everything and everyone. You can choose to ignore it, but once you put on the "gender lense", it's hard to take off. Our clothes are gnedered, our sexuality is gendered, and our gender is assigned to us at birth. We simply cannot escape it.

It seems so simple, right? If your body looks one way you're a boy, another way you're a girl. HOLD IT! It's actually way more complicated. Did you know when scientists tried to define what is male and what is female... the results were inconclusive??? Did you know one in 2000 people are diagnosed with an intersex condition? The actual ratio is unknown due to many conditions, involving hormones and chromosones, not being visible with the naked eye. Many people live their whole lives undiagnosed.

These are amazing science facts! It gets me to thinking... if there is no definition of what is male and what is female... and being intersex is potentially fairly common... why the binary in the first place? Of course there would be people who feel a variance of their gender. Of course somene would feel differntly than the sex they were assigned at birth. One doesn't necessarily have to be intersex, but it definitely is related to way we have more than two genders.

More and more people are finding terms for their gender and communitites are growing. We've seen this happen in the U.S. rapidly in the last thirty years. Specifically Portland, OR has a strong trans and gender-variant community. I, myself, identify as non-binary and use they/them pronouns. More and more of us move here every day.

In a service industry where "male" and "female" menus are the norm, it was important to me to remain "all gender." I had seen other salons seriously fumble when treating trans and gender variant guests. In order to receive any services they had to out themselves and/or be misgendered.

With science and sociology backing up the fact that trans and gender-variant people exist, it's irrelevant to have a business model made up of only two genders. It has become outdated. I hope more and more salons and industries choose all gender services so that all can feel welcomed. When we center marganinalized communitties, we all benefit. 

I hope to have more posts on this subject including the effect of colonialism on the gender binary.

If you ever want to talk more with me about gender, hit me up! Bring it up next time you get a wax. I'm always down.

<3 Mads


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