Celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzimons could have spent his 30th birthday in a number of ways. He chose to kiss his 20s goodbye by hosting a kick-off reception with the Los Angeles LGBT Center to launch the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program, which collects donations of unused personal hygiene and cosmetic products to transgender and gender non-conforming people.
The event took place at LA LGBT Center’s The Village at Ed Gould Plaza on Monday August 14. Businesswoman, actress and transgender rights activist Angelica Ross was in attendance. Other celebrities included author Janet Mock, actress Constance Zimmer (UnReal), actress-writer Jen Richards (Nashville), actress-model Isis King and actor Jeffrey Bower-Chapman (UnReal) who is Fitzsimons’ significant other.
Fitzsimons is known for styling Adele’s hair and is a personal hairdresser to Kourtney Kardashian. He hopes his influence will give brands, stylists, influencers, editors, and celebrities the opportunity to donate cosmetic products for a good cause.
“As someone who always wanted to give back for a long time and didn’t know how, I decided to pool all the resources of the beauty industry,” Fitzsimons told WEHO TIMES. “I get sent lots and lots of self-care products, beauty products. I want to be able to pool them and donate them to organizations that help, trans and gender non-binary people.”
Fitzsimons designated the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP) to receive these products and to manage their distribution to its clients as well as clients of various local organizations that serve the trans community.
Transgender people experience higher rates of poverty and unemployment, which hurts their ability to buy hygiene products and cosmetics. This is especially true for trans women of color. Having access to these products is necessary for job interviews, professional networking events and in the workplace.
Fitzsimons feels a person’s appearance can empowering. “I think if you feel confident, you are confident,” He told the LA LGBT Center’s Vanguard. “I think appearance can really go a long way in terms of feeling empowered and feeling confident. The more confident you are, the more you are able to step out into the world and be your authentic self and a member of society.”
The new program has already secured a commitment for donations from Alterna Haircare, Mane Addicts, Biore and L’Oreal.
TEEP offers a wide range of services to help transgender people find employment and to help make workplaces more welcoming to trans people. There are medical providers who provide expert treatment and consultation, legal assistance for name and gender change and support for those who have experienced discrimination in employment and housing.
The unused personal hygiene and cosmetics for the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program can be dropped off during business hours at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Highland Annex at 1220 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038.
To learn more, visit lalgbtcenter.org