Reno, NV is generally a nice place to be a transgender girl, in my experience. One exception is the arena of eyebrow threading or waxing. As I understand my so-far-explored options in the Reno area, they are:
- Get them done for $15 by a nice man who is very supportive of me transitioning as a t-girl and yet seems to not be very girl-friendly based on the, um, broad comments he makes about girls, inspired by his experiences in the salon where he works.
- Get them done at an upscale place that charges $35 and then wants to know how much I want to add as an additional amount, for the tip. Whoa!
- Get them done at an eyebrow threading place at Meadowwood Mall. As a test of a t-girl’s self-confidence, this place is “The Gauntlet.”
As to the latter option, the lady who works at the main store, near the east entrance, is Asian Indian. I have nothing against that; some of my friends are from India and they’re fine people. Sadly, this girl subscribes to the “t-girl unfriendly” part of Indian culture. There’s a lot of that about. Until very recently, t-girls were not even allowed to get Indian government work cards, which meant they weren’t able to get legal employment, and so plan B was “illegal employment” since plan C is “starve and die.” I gather that “plan B” in India doesn’t offer a rich set of options. One of them is “whore yourself out” which isn’t likely a great career choice when your heart isn’t in it.
My basic point is that there are elements in Asian Indian culture that are very dismissive of t-girls. The chick who works, or worked, at the main shop eyebrow threading location at Meadowwood Mall in Reno seems to subscribe to some of these bad ideas. She clearly had issues with me, as being a t-girl.
She refused to do my eyebrows. Now, I realize that I don’t have a right to eyebrow threading services — but reason tends to be a good way of resolving concerns, so I tried to reason things out with her.
In the conversation, she kept calling me “sir” frequently enough that I found it appropriate to show her my NV Driver’s License that shows that (even though I’m a weird mix of male and female parts) I’m basically and officially female so could we please dispense with the “sir” and also ideally dispense with the the unreasonable refusal to do business with a t-girl? No. No success.
She suggested I go find the girl who worked the eyebrow threading cart in the same mall, since she’d be more enthused to take me on as a customer.
Historical sidebar: Since black culture and transgender culture often make for a useful parallel … my experience would be as if a black chick shows up at a business and the person there flat-out refuses to do business with her because she’s black. Whoa! And, no amount of reasoning changes the mind of the business person. Double whoa!!
So, finally, I went to the little cart in Meadowwood Mall, where the sign says that prices for females are $10 and the prices for males are $12. I had my eyebrows done, and the lady announced the price was $12. I took out my by-then-weary driver’s license again to show that, see, I’m basically a female (although, yes, yes, I know, I’m a weird mix of male and female) but … no. $12. I wasn’t happy about it but I paid. After all, being treated in business as if I were a male was certainly better than being sent away.
I was stubborn. I came back a second time, a few weeks later, and tried to reason with the first girl again. That time around, she grudgingly took my money and did my eyebrows.
I should mention that during all this, I was generally made up and wearing female clothing and had long blonde hair to where even the very male security guard at the mall was savvy enough to figure out I’m basically female, and called me “ma’am.”
Even so, I gave eyebrow shaping in Reno a “D” as to my experiences so far, with the first Meadowwood mall chick getting an “F.” Okay, I know I haven’t tried every eyebrow-shaping vendor in Reno yet, and that I can probably make an appointment at a t-girl friendly salon and be treated better, but my schedule tends to be super-busy, and I prefer a walk-in place. And, I’m sort of burned out on my walk-in-place experiences in Reno by now.
So, what I do nowadays is to simply let my eyebrows grow out of control until I happen to make a business trip to Southern Nevada or Northern California, where eyebrow threading or waxing has so far been a) t-girl friendly and b) affordable.
And so it was today, when I happened to be at the Great Mall in Milpitas, and I walked by an eyebrow threading place. I decided to use their services. Their price list stated that prices for females are $10 and prices for males are $12. The lady did my eyebrows quickly and pleasantly, and charged me $10. Better! … and she got a nice tip for it. The results of her work are shown in the above picture, taken today.
Perhaps one day t-girl friendliness, as to this field of endeavor, will make its way east across the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I’m looking forward to that.