Our Global I-NNOVATOR Chad Keast joins us for a Q&A as we celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the month of June and always! Chad is a successful salon owner, fiancé & dog dad. Follow along as he shares with us his journey.
Q. Will you share with us your coming out story?
A: I was all alone until I found an LGBTQ support group at the Women’s Center at St. Cloud State University. I feel so lucky to be one of the first generations to have access to the internet, it saved my life.
Q: What are your first memories about gender or gender identity?
A: I loved my mom’s Avon lipstick samples and the play doh fuzzy pumper hair salon.
Q: How do the common perceptions of gender norms need to be transformed.
A: I look to organizations such as Friends of the Earth International. They seek freedom from patriarchy and all forms of oppression that exploit and devalue women, peoples and the environment. They strive towards a radical transformation of societies relationships between people, and of the relationship between people and Nature.
Q: Who are your biggest supporters? What impact have they made on your life.
A: My mom is my biggest supporter! She always supports me and is my biggest fan.
Q: What advice do you have for somebody that is wanting to come out but nervous to do so?
A: Find a supportive group of people and love who you are!
Q: How has I-N helped inspire you to be the best you?
A: My personal journey to find ways to be more conscious of the industry I work in and products I use for our health and the planet’s protection was shaped by Horst Rechelbacher and continues to be my guiding inspiration.
Q: What can you share with others that are trying to learn about the LGBTQIA+ community?
A: Learn as much as you can about the history of the LGBTQIA+ community; the amazing creativity, diversity and strength that has fought against hate to bring us to where we are. Then be an ally to bring human rights further!