Usually when a brand launches a new product, it's pretty easy to guess its motive: profits. But cruelty-free beauty line Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics has never been one to play by the rules, which is why this amazing, heartwarming endeavor makes such perfect sense. The brand has released a limited-edition Lip Tar with the sole purpose to raise funds to help one of its own complete her gender transition surgery.
January Hunt, a long-time employee with OCC, was assigned male at birth, but identifies female. In 2010, she decided to begin her transition. "Without the language or the backbone of a community to support me," she says, "it was easy to be led astray by the narrow two-gender system presented by society. I decided the only way to move forward with my life was to stop ignoring the elephant in every space I set foot in, and begin my transition rites."
Unfortunately, three years after she started hormone replacement therapy, Hunt has encountered a huge roadblock in the form of health insurance. "The medical industry insists on labelling gender confirming/affirming surgeries as cosmetic rather than medically necessary," she explains. "The ripple effect is that most private and public health insurance organizations do not cover surgeries for transgender people, even if deemed medically necessary by a physician or therapist."
Left with few other options to help her complete her journey, Hunt started a fundraising campaign to help her raise the needed $30,000 for sex reassignment surgery and gender-affirming breast augmentation. Fortunately for her, she works with one of the most compassionate employers we've ever seen, who went above and beyond to not only support Hunt through her transition, but also to actively help her get there.
The January Rising Lip Tar, a gorgeous and vibrant hot pink, was created by Hunt and the creative team at OCC. It is available exclusively through Hunt's fundraising site for $25 a tube, and 100% of that money goes directly to Hunt's fund — no profit or production costs are taken out by OCC. The Lip Tar is only available for sale for 14 more days, and so far she has raised $19,471 for her surgeries.
We think the brand deserves a huge round of applause for taking such an active, engaged interest in its employees and their welfare. We wish every company could be as forward-thinking and supportive as OCC by realizing that their employees are their most valuable assets and are worth fighting for.
We also want to give Hunt some major props for her bravery and for sharing her story to help raise awareness alongside funds. It's not easy, especially in a world that isn't always welcoming to transgender people, to put yourself out there so publicly. Hunt has managed to do so in such an honest, beautiful way that also helps shed some light on the struggles many in the transgender community face. "It is incredibly terrifying to put myself out there with such intimate details of my life and body. Asking for help is hard," she says. We're so very glad she did, though.
Photo: Courtesy of January Hunt/Stella Rose Saint Clair
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