Over a decade ago I met my now best friend. She won a gift certificate I donated to an auction. She came to me when I was just out of my apprenticeship, and she wanted a large piece. Thus our regular hang outs began. She was curious about queerness. I took her to her first gay dance party. We talked about femme identity and clothing and hair (the way you mark yourself for others to recognize), we talked about dating and sex. Soon after coming out Amanda met her now wife, her partner of almost ten years.
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Amanda was the first, but in the years since, I have helped many others walk through the queer door.
As a tattoo artist I meet new people regularly and enter emotionally vulnerable space with them as soon as they get on my table. The nature of my work invites people to share their personal life circumstances and innermost thoughts. I know this, because I have heard it many times; people often call their sessions with me “Tattoo Therapy”. I ask the hard questions when necessary, I offer support. Helping people step into and live their authentic queer lives brings me a deep sense of fulfilling my own life's purpose.
And now I want to do this with full intention, with a group of people who are ready, who are hungry, and are willing to do the work of looking in the mirror, in order to step into their new lives.