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Michigan salon owner: I won't service trans people; they can go to a "pet groomer"
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Christine Geiger also mocked people with personal pronouns
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Using the Supreme Court’s recent anti-LGBTQ ruling as her springboard, the owner of a hair salon in Traverse City, Michigan says she won’t allow any trans people inside her store because they should see a “pet groomer” instead. She added that anyone who uses personal pronouns wouldn’t be welcome either.
When the Supreme Court issued its recent ruling in 303 Creative LLC, the case involving a bigoted Christian website designer, the bottom line was that Lorie Smith could refuse to make a (theoretical) wedding website for a same-sex couple even though it violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws. The conservative SCOTUS majority said designing websites was a form of artistic expression, therefore no one could force the owner of that company to do something against her faith-based values.
That ruling, however, opened the door to more questions, like whether a Christian business owner could discriminate against an interracial couple or what exactly counted as “artistic” expression.
Looks like Studio 8 Hair Lab owner Christine Geiger wants those answers now, especially since Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a law earlier this year expanding non-discrimination laws to include LGBTQ people.
Geiger recently posted this on Facebook on her company’s page:
If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman please seek services at a local pet groomer. You are not welcome at this salon. Period.
Should you request to have a particular pronoun used please note we may simply refer to you as “hey you”. Regardless of MI HB 4744. ([Kiss] my ASS Governor Witchmere [wink while sticking out tongue])
This is America; free speech. This small business has the right to refuse services. We are not bound to any oaths as realtors are regarding discrimination. My recent airport experience validates this. [Smiling grin]
Besides just being an asshole in the most juvenile ways, Geiger’s rant makes no sense at all. The argument that the Supreme Court heard involved a woman who refused to make a custom wedding website for a (hypothetical) same-sex couple. If a trans person comes in to receive the same haircut or highlights as a cis person, there’s nothing about the service violating Geiger’s beliefs. It’s not the same situation.
(How would she even know which of her customers are trans? Is there a questionnaire for clients? Who knows.)
Still, Geiger doubled down on her bigotry in a local Traverse City Facebook group:
I have no issues with LGB. It’s the TQ+ that I’m not going to support. For those that don’t know what the + is for, it’s for MAP (Minor Attracted Person aka: pedophile) This stance was taken to insure that clients have the best experience and I am admitting that since I am not willing to play the pronoun game or cater to requests outside of what I perceive as normal this probably isn't the best option for that type of client.
There are over 800 licensed stylists in the County. There are plenty of salons/stylists willing to cater to what I will not. This is a free country and I am not a slave to any narrative.
Conservatives need to acclimate these woke individuals to their new reality. Conservatives have HAD ENOUGH of their ideologies being projected onto us.
We used to “just let them be”. Most of us kept our opinions to ourselves. I mean why look for unnecessary conflict; right? Well the other side used this against us. They mistook our silence for weakness and look where it got us.
So now many of us bark back we speak out and we make it CLEAR where we stand on these issues. They can’t handle it. They aren’t prepared for this. So I am more than willing to take the first rounds of strike backs in hopes that more of you will see this and be inspired to stand up tall and speak your own truths and not simply let them be.
The + is not, in fact, a symbolic representation of pedophilia. (She must be mistaking that for a cross in a Catholic church…) There’s no pronoun “game” being played. And Geiger is in no way a martyr for her cause.
If she’s worried about child safety, she may want to look in the mirror.
The good news is that she may not have to style a trans person’s hair anytime soon because she might not have any future customers at all.
As of this writing, that post she wrote has been taken down while the Facebook page for Studio 8 Hair Lab has been made private. So has her personal hairstyling page. So has the Instagram page, though there’s currently a caption that reads “A private CONSERVATIVE business that does not cater to woke ideologies.”
And now that her bigotry is making the news, there’s a good chance decent people all over the city won’t be making appointments with her. After all, why give your business to a MAGA bigot when there “over 800 licensed stylists” in the county?
That’s the position a local LGBTQ group is taking:
Traverse City’s LGBTQ organization Polestar put out this statement in response to the Facebook post.
They said, “Studio 8 Hair Lab’s recent comments comparing members of the queer community to animals are not welcomed in Traverse City, Period.
Hate has shown time and time again to be a losing business strategy and we must not allow this blight to take root in our town.
Statements like the one from Studio 8 undermine the hard work that has been put in to make Traverse City the absolute best that it can be.”
All of this is especially weird since Geiger specializes in “color correction” and “blonding.” Her career is built around changing the way God supposedly made people. And yet she has a special place in her non-existent heart to pick on trans people specifically.
For what it’s worth, Geiger hasn’t mentioned her religion in any of these posts and it’s not clear if her hatred is faith-based or just an outgrowth of her MAGA personality. (Her Twitter feed is an insane barrage of right-wing talking points and conspiracy theories.) Either way, if she thinks her bigotry is nothing more than free speech, she’s about to learn the hard way that patronizing a salon—or refusing to step foot in it—is an act of free speech too.
Whether Geiger will face any legal consequences for her declaration of discrimination remains to be seen. We don’t know if she’s actually followed through on her announcement by refusing to serve a transgender client.
But we can make one prediction that’s all but certain: The conservative Christians who insisted the Supreme Court case was about religious freedom and absolutely not about legalizing discrimination won’t say a damn thing against this.
***Update***: The salon’s supplier, Jack Winn Pro, has now responded to the controversy, saying the company will no longer be working with Geiger:
Jack Winn Pro strongly believes in and supports LGBTQ+ rights. We are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful environment for all—regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic that defines who they are.
It has come to our attention that disturbing comments have been attributed to one of our product users. We want to make it clear that we disapprove of and reject hate speech in any form. Such actions go against the very values we hold dear and strive to uphold.
Furthermore, This individual does not have authorization to link their google business to our website. (Importantly: The stylist who made those comments no long has authorization to represent our brand or products.)
At Jack Winn Pro, we take a strong stance against hate speech and any form of discrimination. Our core values center around fostering a safe and welcoming space for everyone, free from prejudice and bigotry. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and reiterate our commitment to supporting their rights.
We wish to emphasize that the opinions expressed by individuals using our products do not reflect the views or values of our organization. We are appalled by the reported incident, and we will investigate it thoroughly to ensure appropriate actions are taken.
Jack Winn Pro reaffirms its unwavering dedication to promoting equality and respect. We will continue to educate ourselves and our community to foster a culture of equality and inclusivity.
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