Dealing with discrimination in the shop with Britt Lester
Brittany Lester is no stranger to challenges. In and out of AA and jail for DUI's from the young age of 18, Britt was on a dangerous path. After praying to her higher power to show her the path, she woke up looking at all things barbering. Britt made the move from Marietta, GA to Los Angeles, CA to pursue her goal of working on set.
Despite the move, the challenges did not end here. Britt faced constant battles operating as a queer woman barber in an industry dominated by straight males. From being skipped over by clients, to being berated for one tough haircut, to being sent only kids and black men by shop management because of her appearance, Britt has experienced it all.
Despite these challenges, she has continued to rise above in pursuit of what she set out to do. She hopes to act as a vocal leader for the LGBTQ community in barbering and encourage inclusivity in the barbershop, all while pursuing her dream of working on set. I highly suggest listening to the full conversation here. For those that need the information in a pinch, I've highlighted some of Britt's story below.
In search of a new space, Britt landed at her second shop. Here, she was surrounded by other women. After a short sting, she realized that she was once again being skipped over. With this is mind, something happened that pushed her over the edge.
After leaving, Britt finally landed at High and Tight Barbershop, a black owned, queer owned, and veteran owned shop in downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by her own in an atmosphere she loved, she still felt something was missing.
When the pandemic hit, Britt was able to reassess he goals and what she had to do to reach them. By keeping her end goal in sight, she was able to plan each move based on what would take her closer to reaching it. Today, she feels she is fulfilling her true purpose.
For more on Britt, follow her Instagram account @ba_thebarber
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