Today we’d like to introduce you to Madin Lopez.
Madin Ray Lopez, 32, is the founder of ProjectQ. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Madin began doing hair in high school. They knew very early on that they wanted to do hair for a living because it was a reliable career that also allowed them to use their creativity.
Having experienced much trauma as a child, Madin made it their life’s mission to help LGBTQIA youth. They founded ProjectQ in 2012 after realizing this mission and have since devoted their free time to make this dream become a reality.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
ProjectQ is a non-profit organization that helps LGBTQIA+ homeless youth combat bullying, develop self-esteem, provides a 100% inclusive safe space, and helps youth find an identity for themselves through hair styling and mentorship.
The ProjectQ Salon & Community Center provides free gender-affirming haircuts and self-empowering workshops to LGBTQIA+ youth experiencing homelessness. By doing this, we aim to create a generation of queer youth that loves themselves. With an improved sense of self-worth, these youth are able to reach their life goals and become the amazing adults they’re meant to be.
The ProjectQ Salon is also a full-service salon five days a week. Where the entire salon staff (Madin, Coral, Ramdasha, and Sabrina) identifies as queer people of color (QPOC), and LGBTQIA+ adults and allies are able to receive hair services.
In April 2019, we were able to take over our entire building and launch the ProjectQ Collective. Our collective features queer and trans artists (Snatchpower & Mx. Matias), business owners (Sharpe Suiting, Jovan Wolf Leather) and podcasts (A Tribe Called Queer and Bitchface). 90% of the Collective identifies as QPOC. It is important for us to be able to leverage our privilege and create opportunities for people like us who may not be able to thrive elsewhere.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
For the LGBTQIA+ youth that we serve, the biggest challenge they face is acceptance. The reason why they are homeless is because their family has disowned them. Simply for being who they are. Not having that acceptance and love can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem and future. LGBTQIA+ youth are the highest demographic within the homeless population, and that number is growing massively each year. They also have the highest suicide rate among youth.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The ProjectQ Salon & Community Center is in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles. For those looking to support the work we do, you can become a member or donate at www.projectq.me.
If you wish to book a hair appointment, you can do so at www.vagaro.com/projectq.
- Address: 818 N. Spring St. #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Website: www.projectq.me
- Phone: (213) 617-8442
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @project_q_
- Facebook: @projectq.info
- Twitter: @project_q_
- Other: www.vagaro.com/projectq
Kat Contreras, Sabine Lopez and Erial Tompkins