YBOR CITY, Fla — At the Bobby Pin Hair Gallery in Ybor City, sleek cuts and fun colors are a specialty.
But just as you enter, you're greeted by three very important colors.
"This space is trans-inclusive and supportive," said stylist Steevie Vazquez.
Just above the door handle, you'll find a barber's pole. But instead of red, white, and blue stripes, you'll find light blue, pink, and white. It's a beacon of acceptance given to the salon by the website "Strands for Trans," which compiles a list of inclusive hair care services across the country.
Vazquez said they signed the salon up.
"I've actually gotten quite a few clients because another hairstylist told them, that's not for you," they said.
It's a rejection that Vazquez, who identifies as a non-binary trans person, knew first hand as a teen.
"I asked for bangs, I just wanted straight across bangs and they said 'You can't have that because you're a boy and that's for girls,'" they said.
That's part of the reason they became a hairstylist in the first place — because for the trans community a hairstyle is often so much more than just hair.
"That moment of them seeing in the reflection, who they have seen on the inside for so long, it's so powerful and it's so fulfilling for me to be a part of it," said Vazquez
At a time when gender expression and sexuality are at the forefront of many headlines, Vazquez wants the salon to provide this reminder.
"No matter what they're hearing or seeing, there are still spaces that are safe and affirming," they said.
Their hope is that one day inclusive spaces will exist everywhere. And they say education is the way to get there.
"Trans people are just people that want to live their life," they said.