The hairdressing company behind gay hair stylists are in a state of flux.
A decade ago, they opened their first salon in New York City.
But it closed soon after, after it was revealed that a former salon manager had used gay slurs.
And when the New York Times reported in 2015 that the owner of a New Jersey salon had also made homophobic comments about gays, the business was forced to shut down.
Now, salon owners in the Northeast, Midwest and West are trying to figure out how to continue operating.
And the backlash is not new.
Hairdressers say they have been targeted in the past, but have found a way to stay afloat.
In the past year, a group of young gay men in New Hampshire have come out with a book called Gay Hair, telling their stories of their lives and business.
“I’ve never been able to say ‘I’m gay’ until I came out,” said Paul Mitchell, a hairstylist in New Haven, Conn., who co-authored the book with his partner, Evan Nesvig.
Mitchell is gay, but he said that his business has always been more about people than just business.
His main business partner, a gay man, has been a regular customer for many years, he said.
And while Mitchell said he has not been targeted, he was the first gay person to write a book about his experience.
“The gay community is still very small, and I have to do my best to show that we’re still there,” he said, adding that he hopes to be remembered as a pioneer.
Hair salon owner Daniel Marder said the backlash in the gay community, especially online, has had a negative effect on his business.
He is not the only one.
A year ago, he opened the first salon outside of New York, a salon in Colorado that he opened with his brother.
Now he is having to adapt.
The business was already struggling financially, Mardar said, but the negative backlash is forcing him to make adjustments.
“In the past few years, it’s been the worst,” he added.
“We’re getting very tired of the same old same old.”
A New York business owner says his company is in a precarious position after the gay salon backlash.
“When you have a business, it doesn’t take long for your competitors to come out,” the owner, who asked not to be named, told Politico.
“And now you have to make the best decisions possible, because you’re in a competitive market.”
One salon owner said the gay barbershop backlash is hurting his business, too.
“Some people think they’re being a little tough on us, but they’re hurting the people that need us.” “
The salon owner is not alone. “
Some people think they’re being a little tough on us, but they’re hurting the people that need us.”
The salon owner is not alone.
“What we are seeing is an erosion of trust and respect,” said Lisa W. Zampoli, a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center who specializes in business and consumer protection.
“They are not willing to accept that they’re a competitor, that they have a problem with people, or that they are the ones that are going to have to take a hit on their bottom line,” she added.
The backlash has been so intense that some gay men and lesbians have quit their jobs in the salon business, according to a 2016 study by the Institute for Justice, a legal group that fights for gay and lesbian rights.
“For the gay business owners in New Jersey and New York state, they are looking for a way out of this mess and are willing to risk everything for it,” said Zampolis.
“But for the people in this community who are being targeted, there’s not much they can do but to be a little more patient.”
A gay man at a gay barber shop in New Mexico, who was not named.
He said that while he is supportive of gay rights, he feels like he has to “work harder” in order to make ends meet.
He also worries about the backlash, which could be devastating for his business if it continues.
“There’s not many options for me,” he explained.
“As a gay person, I’m a big believer that there’s a world out there for us.
I don’t want to lose that.”
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