Transgender person refused haircutpoll

FURIOUS: Billy Newman is calling for greater acceptance of the transgender community after being denied a haircut by a Raymond Terrace barber. Picture: Ellie-Marie WattsA TRANSGENDER person refused a haircut from a Raymond Terrace barber is using the experience to call for greater acceptance of those battling with their gender identity.

Billy Newman, who recently moved from Tamworth to work in Raymond Terrace, was born a female but identifies as male.

After 29 years of struggling with his gender identity and sexuality, Billy decided four months ago to start the female-to-male transition.

While only deciding to begin the transition process in January, which will include Billy taking testosterone, having his breasts removed and in years to come genital surgery, he has always had male characteristics.

Billy acts like a man, dresses like a man and wears a binder to flatten his chest. While living in Tamworth Billy went to a barber to have his haircut so he thought nothing of walking into Get It Off Men’s Barber Shop in William Street for a trim on Tuesday, April 5.

“I asked how much for short back and sides [haircut] and the girl said they couldn’t do it because they don’t cut women’s hair,” Billy said.

It was the first negative experience Billy has faced since deciding to begin the female-to-male transition and it made him “furious”.

“It kind of blew me away,” Billy said. “I yelled at her that it was discrimination; I was furious.”

Get It Off Men’s Barber Shop owner Trudi, who at the time had been working at the back of the store, said she was only alerted to a problem when she heard raised voices at the front.

When she walked from the back of the shop to the front, Billy had already left.

“I had no idea what was happening,” Trudi said. “I was told that she [Billy] came in and was very rude. She asked the girl how much for a short back and sides.

“This girl was only young. She could see [Billy] had boobs and said we don’t cut ladies hair here. She [Billy] didn’t explain anything. We only do men’s hair here. We’re a men’s barber shop.

“If men come in and see women getting their hair cut, they’ll walk out because they know women’s hair takes so much longer. If this person had of explained instead of blowing up at my girl, I could have come out and would have considered it [haircut] if she explained.”

Billy is using the experience to call for greater awareness and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

“The world is starting to talk about gender and transgender people more, but it needs to be addressed further,” Billy said.

“I don’t understand why people can’t make exceptions to their rules for transgender people. Everyone is different; we are not all the same so we shouldn’t all be treated the same.”

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