Mansfield hair salon backs LGBTQ+ charity to celebrate Pride Month
Gay and lesbian youngsters in Mansfield may soon find coming out more comfortable – thanks to a hair salon.
For Supercuts, on Oak Tree Lane, Mansfield, is raising money for an LGBTQ+ charity to celebrate Pride Month.
And manager Keelan Trench hopes the initiative will help many young people in the town in their fight to be accepted.
The chosen charity is LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire, which is based in Worksop and supports those aged 11 to 25.
Keelan, 23, who lives in Mansfield, said: “I am gay myself, and I know that if this charity had been available when I was coming out, it would have been very helpful.
"I came out when I was at school (Samworth Church Academy) at the age of about 14 or 15.
"I was quite lucky because I had a great family set-up that was very supportive.
"But it was a life-changing situation, and my main fear was how I dealt with it myself.
"Mansfield is an old mining town and quite working-class, and coming out was not necessarily normal back in the day.
"Even now, morals are quite strict. If a gay man wants to be a hairdresser or wants to be with another man, rather than a woman, it can be quite a struggle.”
The charity provides a range of specialist services for young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and any other sexual orientation or gender identity.
Services include training, education and one-to-one counselling, not only for the clients themselves but also for their parents and families.
"I chose this charity because it offers helplines around the clock, 24/7,” said Keelan, who started as a hair stylist at Supercuts four years ago and has worked his way up to become manager.
"It gives help on many issues, such as coming out, identity and even homelessness, and has received a lot of good reviews.”
The Supercuts unisex salon is based within the Tesco store on Oak Tree Lane and Keelan and his team of three staff – two hairdressers and a beautician – plan to help the charity by holding a fundraising day on Friday, June 25.
The salon will be decorated with rainbow flags, and there will be a ‘Bake-Off’-type cake sale.
At the heart of the celebrations is a raffle, featuring prizes such as mystery goodie-bags, donated by businesses, and free services provided by the salon, such as haircuts, beauty treatments and products.
A £50 tattoo voucher is also up for grabs, thanks to the Mansfield-based Aimee Rose Tattoos.
“Our target is to raise £200 at least,” said Keelan. “I have already started the raffle on my personal Facebook page.
"As well as helping the charity, we hope to raise awareness of what is happening during Pride Month.”
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, many Pride street parades have been cancelled or delayed until later in the year.
But the LGBTQ+ community is still determined to come together in a spirit of celebration.
For the salon, the month also marks relief that its lockdown struggles are finally coming to an end.
"We were shut for the best part of a year,” said Keelan. “It was a big loss.
"But we persevered, and there was a mad rush when we reopened on April 12.
"Now we’re keeping as busy as possible.”