In 2015, Jessie Anderson (he/him), with the support of his community through crowdfunding, established Big Bros Barbershop; a physical space maintained by and for transgender people. This unique barbershop not only offers excellent haircuts but also serves as a resource center for various demographics, including 2STGD+ (two-spirit, transgender, gender diverse) youth, their loved ones, elders of the queer community, allies, and more.
Through Jessie’s impressive efforts, a casual and comfortable space has been created where people of all ages can comfortably question their gender identity. Big Bros Barbershop has cultivated a sense of community and connection for everyone who enters its doors. “On a great day at the shop, I’ve got elders and other people with more experiences or different experiences from me coming in and telling me what’s going on, and I get to pass those from one person to another,” Jessie says.
In addition to selling gender affirming products and offering educational resources, Jessie has also provided support to young customers. If you walk into Big Bros Barbershop, you instantly feel such warmth and welcome, as if these strangers getting a haircut beside you are a family you’ve known for years.
At Big Sisters, we recognize the importance of meaningful connections and the impact of showing up for one another. Our goal, achieved through our mentorship programs, is to establish a safe and welcoming space where youth in our community can improve their self-esteem and confidence, igniting their full potential. Local organizations like Jessie’s barbershop serve as invaluable resources for youth, families, mentors, and staff, fostering an inclusive community for all. Mentorship can be 1:1 or through a group setting, we appreciate and support other organizations in the Lower Mainland, such as Big Bros Barbershop that also follow the same philosophy as us.
If you are interested in joining an inclusive community and making a big impact on the lives of young girls and youth, click here to become a mentor today.