Behind the styling chair, Andrew Fitzsimons is responsible for the perfect hair of many of Hollywood's most gorgeous women, including the Kardashian clan, Ashley Graham and Shay Mitchell. But beyond the styling chair, he's responsible for much more than that. In addition to his passion for beauty, Andrew has a deep desire to help those in need. As a feminist and LGBTQ+ activist, Andrew decided to take matters into his own hands when he saw that many trans people were missing essential support systems. He recently teamed up with TEEP (the Trans Economic Empowerment Project) and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to start the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program.
At his initiative's launch event, Andrew revealed to us that it was a book written by his friend trans-activist Janet Mock, Redefining Realness, that first opened his mind to helping this community.
As hairstylists, Andrew and his colleagues are constantly given an abundance of beauty products—far more than they can possibly use. He decided to collect these resources and build a program around them that provides self-care products and cosmetics to trans and gender non-binary individuals.
Although the program is rooted in California, Andrew's goal is to expand across the country. His long-term plan is to see self-care donation programs available in every state.
As for the response from his very famous friends, Andrew says it's been overwhelming. "Every single person I work with is like, 'Tell me when, tell me how, what can I do? I will be there,'" he said. He went on to explain that makeup artists aren't just interested in donating products, but also in educating themselves on the trans and gender non-conforming communities to better help them.
"For those kids out there in the small towns around people that don't get who they are, there's a community that loves you and will support you," he said. "There are organizations built to be the people you need in your life. Just know you can go online and reach out to your local LGBT center and trans-empowerment programs. There are networks and resources to support you when it feels like no one else is."