I was hiding so brilliantly, that I felt like this person I had created, if I abandoned it, I would lose everything.
When Messina came out as transgender in the workplace, she credits her employer for making it a positive experience. "I do think that the beauty industry is a place that’s going to be a more welcoming workforce for someone who is non-gender conforming or transgender to exist," she says, "And I feel that M.A.C. is leading it."
Within the four walls of M.A.C. — that’s where life is so unique for me. I’m not Gizelle the trans person, I’m an artist, a leader, someone with tenure. I'm someone who is very well respected.
But M.A.C.'s contributions don't stop at Gizelle's individual experience. "We celebrate diversity and inclusion," an official company statement reads. "M.A.C. has made it its mission to be a safe place for LGBT and gender-non conforming people and have put funds towards that very mission, giving over $450 million to initiatives that are working to end HIV/AIDS and end the stigma for those living with it."