Tabatha Coffey, the tough-love salon business guru who stars in Bravo’s reality show Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, recently chatted with the Advocate about being a famous lesbian, the gay male-dominated world of hairstyling, and being a “cold” yet exceptional mentor. Tabatha’s Salon Takeover follows Coffey’s visits to failing salons and her subsequent whipping owners into shape with business and hair advice, all the while having impeccable style.
Here’s some tidbits:
On being called a stylish lesbian:
I am, actually, so I embrace that support. I once had someone tell me that they didn’t know I was a lesbian because I was so fashionable.
On her sexuality:
I have never, ever hidden my sexuality, because to me being a lesbian is like having blue eyes. I just don’t feel like talking about my personal life is appropriate on my show, because I’m there to help other people’s businesses. So [last week's episode] was probably the first time I addressed it only because the situation had come up where the [Chicago Male] owner, Scott, kept talking about his community and having a salon in Boystown. He was negating my community, which is the lesbian community, and he was also negating females in general, so it was a double whammy to me. I was really pissed off at him.
I always live truthfully. No, it didn’t come up on Shear Genius because it doesn’t pertain to the business or competitive situation. I didn’t need to walk around the competition every two seconds, going, “Look at me! I’m a lesbian!” And I never made a conscious decision to come out to the press because that’s just who I am. If people asked me a question, I’d just try to answer it honestly and to the best of my ability.
On bringing her personal life onto the show:
[Bravo execs] haven’t really encouraged or discouraged me, because that’s just not what the show is about. My show is about helping the business owners of salons, so I’m not really the focus on the show.
I don’t know. It’s something I’ve never thought of. Honestly, I don’t know who would want to watch a day in the life of Tabatha, but my personal life is my personal life, and I hold my friends, my family, and my loved ones very dear. They’re not hidden, but I also don’t feel they need to be exposed to everyone.
On the response from the gay community:
I get a lot of questions from young people, predominantly gay women but some guys as well, who ask me about coming out and how to broach that subject with their family and friends. Or they’ll tell me about having these feelings toward someone and how they don’t know what to do. It’s always really moving to me. But I get a lot of responses from throughout the gay community just thanking me for being a positive role model and for not hiding who I am.
On having kids:
Yeah, people thought it looked quite fabulous to see Tabatha walking around with a baby, so there are obviously people out there who want me barefoot and pregnant. Some men have even offered to donate sperm, which is lovely; however, it’s not my thing.
What do you think of Tabatha’s take on being an advocate in the LGBT community? How fierce is she?