“Seeing yourself in the mirror the way you see yourself on the inside can really change your life. Something as simple as growing out your hair, or getting the right hair cut can be such an empowering moment. This is especially true for transgender people as they make the transition to finally look the way they felt most of their life”.
Kristin Rankin has been a hairstylist in Toronto for 13 years and owns Fox and Jane, a transformative hair salon in the East End neighbourhood of Leslieville.
In 2017 Kristin started the Dresscode Project, inspired by an incident that happened in her salon. She was cutting a transgender woman’s hair and >the next day the client tweeted that even though she’s been out for five years, this was the first time she had had a haircut and felt like a woman. This touched Kristin and made her realize that something had to be done about the misgendering in salons.
“I’ve heard the story a hundred times of someone walking out of a salon with a more feminine pixie hair cut when asking for shaved on the sides and short on top. That is called misgendering and it happens so regularly.”
When it comes to Kristin’s own hair journey she was in her early 20s when she decided to chop off her blond ponytail – an event she describes as life changing and empowering as she was finally able to start looking the way she wanted to.
“It was a very pivotal moment for me that started to change the way I felt and looked and then presented myself. And my gender expression also changed at that point.”
Beyond the Dresscode Project, Kristin is also a committee member for the East Side Pride Festival, on the screening committee for the Inside Out Film Festival, a board member of It Gets Better Canada and a panel member of Change the Narrative.