A veterans’ hospital in Russia’s fourth-largest city has banned a transgender hairstylist from volunteering to give free haircuts to its elderly patients.
A local charity in Yekaterinburg had put out a call for stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers to provide beauty services to the hospital’s patients at no cost. Marta Katasrofa, a transgender hairdresser, was one of the first people to volunteer for the “mobile beauty salon,” but was asked to leave on her second day of work because of her appearance.
“On Friday he came in pants. The next day, he defiantly showed up in a skirt,” Oleg Zabrodin, the head of the hospital, told the 66.Ru news website.
“He’s free to groom dogs, but he will no longer be here… Our pensioners are not ready for this,” he said.
The hospital told Katasrofa (Catastrophe in English) she could stay if she changed her clothes and washed her face, but she refused, she told her followers Saturday in a video posted on her VKontakte page.
“I have the right to look the way I want,” Katastrofa told the ura.ru news website Monday, adding that she’s only sorry for the pensioners who couldn’t get their hair cut by her.
Video from the volunteers’ makeshift beauty salon shows the pensioners reacting positively to Katasrofa’s work.
“They made such a beauty out of me, thank you very much!” one patient can be seen saying.
On Monday, Zabrodin told the EAN news website he had closed the hospital to all volunteers, saying he no longer has faith in people.
This is the second homophobia-related scandal to hit Yekaterinburg in less than a month. A student at the Ural State University of Economics was threatened with expulsion earlier this month after university administrators thought he was gay. The school admitted to monitoring its students’ social networks to track their “moral character.”