Home » Queer Community » A Place for Change: Community Space and Gender Presentation

A Place for Change: Community Space and Gender Presentation

Transgender is an umbrella term typically used to describe individuals who possess a gender identity different from their gender assigned at birth or experience their gender outside the limits of the gender binary.(1) Gender variance or gender non-conformity, is behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female. This project seeks to find out how salon services affect Transgender/gender variant people and the importance of safe community space. Exterior appearance has always been a means of judgement in Western society. In the study, “There’s More Than Meets the Eye: Facial Appearance and Evaluations of Transsexual People” by, Kelly R. Gerhardstein and Veanne N. Anderson, findings included, “the transsexual whose facial appearance was congruent with their desired gender was perceived as more attractive than the transsexual whose facial appearance was incongruent.” (2) People who live outside heteronormativity or push the gender binary lines need to have a safe accepting space to explore ways to have their external appearance correspond to their gender identity. I’m hoping that this project will bring awareness to the need for safe spaces of expression for our gender fluid community.

All of the participants in this short film are clients/employees of Char’s Hair Design and A Place for Change, located in San Jose, California. This is a representation of personal feelings and opinions of the individuals portrayed in this film and not intended to represent the entire transgender community.

Film by Jessica Salgado     Jessfilms.com
Executive Producer: Char Reed

1. Kozee, Holly B., Tracy L. Tylka, and L. Andrew Bauerband. “Measuring Transgender Individuals’ Comfort with
Gender Identity and Appearance: Development and Validation of the Transgender Congruence Scale.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 36, no. 2 (2012): 179.

2. Gerhardstein, Kelly, and Veanne Anderson. “There’s More Than Meets the Eye: Facial Appearance and Evaluations of Transsexual People.” Sex Roles 62, no. 5/6 (March 2010): 361-373


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