The nail salon combatting transphobia

Marco Marcelline 17 March 2022

Activist and nail technician Charlie Craggs has been beautifying people's nails in an effort to combat misconceptions about trans people

In 2013, when she was 21, Charlie Craggs began her gender transition. Throughout this time, she experienced physical and verbal abuse on the streets that highlighted the extent of daily transphobia in the UK. In response, Craggs, a nail technician, decided to launch the pop-up nail salon, “Nail Transphobia”.

The initiative has seen her tour the UK to combat misconceptions about the transgender community while beautifying people’s nails at the same time. Alongside travelling the length of the country, she has set up her stall at famous venues such as Somerset House, the V&A, and the Science Museum.

Charlie Craggs

The Nail Transphobia salon aims to combat transphobia by targeting what Craggs believes is the reason it festers in the first placefear or preconceptions of people that you do not know. “Nail Transphobia is about giving people the chance to meet a trans person. People can ask me any questions they have about trans stuff. The point is that they are getting to meet a trans person because most people haven’t,” she says.

She adds: “Despite being a pop up nail salon, it’s not at all about nails, it’s about conversation. The nails are just a catalyst for conversation—that’s what we need more of as a society; we all need to be talking more, especially to people outside of our communities and echo chambers.”

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