We are a collective of queer and trans* hair stylists, bodyworkers, artists, activists and community members renting a storefront space on San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland in order to provide by donation services to the queer, trans*, QTPOC and allied community of the East Bay. We're called NOTAFLOF, no one turned away for lack of funds, because removing barriers to accessibility and offering affordable services and community events are the most important aspects of our mission.
Our co-founders, Dara and Liam, began offering Pay-What-You-Can haircuts and bodywork to the queer and trans* community of the East Bay five months ago. The overwhelming interest and desire for these types of services quickly became apparent, and coincided with finding a suitable space to offer them in North Oakland. Within a week of fundraising and organizing, the group ballooned into a well-defined, diverse community with a clear vision of becoming a sober, queer, child and family-oriented space offering haircuts, healing services, peer counseling, groups, events, workshops, meeting space, a zine library, art and music shows, community meals, gardening, book and clothing swaps, childcare, skill shares and more.
Our aim is to provide an alternative to mainstream spaces, where trans and gender non-conforming people have often experienced tremendous hardship related to access and even trauma, by offering a safe space for self-definition. By highlighting the gap between the experiences of trans* people when compared to the rest of the population in terms of their access to stable housing, employment and health care, we hope to educate people who might not otherwise be aware of the needs of trans people in our society. We see hair services as a political intersection of race, class and gender identity. Our work aims to offset the very real and current economic struggles of marginalized communities, to allow for greater autonomy of self expression, well-being and economic freedom.
This grant would be used to offset the costs of rent and the overhead of running the space as well as contributing toward paying folks who work in the space a living wage. Since all of the collective's income is sliding scale/NOTAFLOF we want to guarantee that those who provide these much-needed services are compensated for their time as no one who works with us is in the economic position to do this work on a solely volunteer basis.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (March 2016)