News (USA)

Hair product company dumps salon owner after her hateful rant comparing trans people to animals

A person getting her hair cut
Photo: Shutterstock

Earlier this week, Christine Geiger, the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Traverse City, Michigan, wrote on Facebook that she’s banning many LGBTQ+ people from her salon.

“If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer,” she wrote. “You are not welcome at this salon. Period.”

The hair product company Jack Winn Pro – whose products Geiger regularly uses and sells at her salon, according to the Detroit Free Press – has cut ties with her and issued a statement in favor of LGBTQ+ rights.

“It has come to our attention that disturbing comments have been attributed to one of our products users,” the company’s statement said. “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.”

“The stylist who made those comments no longer has authorization to represent our brand or products.”

“We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and reiterate our commitment to supporting their rights.”

Geiger didn’t stop at telling transgender people to go to pet groomers. In a separate Facebook post, she said that she has “no issues with LGB. It’s the TQ+ that I’m not going to support.” She went on to falsely claim that the “+” in “LGBTQ+” refers to pedophiles.

She claimed that she would be kicking trans people out of her business “regardless of” a bill that would make Michigan’s hate crimes law LGBTQ+-inclusive. Her words came just after the recent Supreme Court ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which said that some creative professionals have a free speech right to ignore anti-discrimination laws.

“The business owner is mistaken if they believe that [the hate crimes expansion bill] H.B. 4474 has any bearing on this situation,” the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Noah Arbit (D), said.

Studio 8 Hair Lab’s Facebook page has since been deleted, and its Instagram account – which describes it as “A private CONSERVATIVE business that does not cater to woke ideologies” – has been made private.

In a statement, Traverse City LGBTQ+ organization Polestar said that “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,” the statement continued. “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.”

Traverse City native Chasten Buttigieg, husband of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, also weighed in on Tuesday. “This is the kind of full-throated bigotry and ignorance many advocates and leaders have been warning would become more mainstream due to the rapid increase in homophobia and transphobia in the GOP,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “America should be moving forward, not backward. There are real problems to solve.”

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