HAZEL PARK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – At the time, little did V Martin know a trip to the Windy City would involve a hair-raising and life-changing experience.
"Went to Chicago and got paid $1,000 to go to cueball bald– the weirdest experience in my life when I was 21. And then I realized haircuts can be kind of important," Martin said.
When faced with the choice of either cutting hair for a living or becoming an electrician, the answer was easy.
Martin, who prefers they/them pronouns, not only wants to help people feel confident but comfortable as well.
"I've always been the type to not really like going into salons or certain places because I wasn't allowed to get the things that I needed or wanted from them. So, I felt like I had to dress up. I had to be somebody that I wasn't. And it's just I wanted to give people the experience that I always wanted," Martin said.
Five years ago, they opened V Cuts Detroit in Hazel Park, embracing pride and inclusivity year-round.
"It doesn't matter who you are, what cultural background you have; I cut all types of hair curly, straight. I do a bunch of different services. And I try just to make everybody make sure that they feel welcome," Martin said.
By doing so, Martin is among the 1.4 million LGBTQ+ business owners in America.
"Going and supporting those other businesses or supporting my business or whatever it is, it's just like, we have to d stigmatize this whole idea of queer people being scary. I'm scary in the sense of, like, I'm ridiculous, and I'm wild, but I'm not scary in the sense of, I'm going to harm somebody in your family or do something, you know, corrupt or whatever," Martin said.
And because Martin knows a successful business can inspire others after closing up for the day, they head to "Soho" in Ferndale, another safe space in the queer community.
"You never know; people might need this as an escape or just to start their new family, community, whatever it is. So if we can, you know, make more of these kinds of places happen and again, support as much as we can. That's all I can ask for," Martin said.
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