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In 2020, Moj Mahdara and Kendra Bracken-Ferguson founded BeautyUnited, a grassroots effort created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. (It helped raise more than $8.2 million for the Frontline Responders Fund). Since then, the organization has expanded to provide community, education and support for members of the beauty industry — particularly those who have been underrepresented, leveraging its networks to make the world of beauty more inclusive. Its latest campaign, launching Wednesday, brings together a particularly powerful group in support of trans and gender non-conforming people.

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Jonathan Van Ness, Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Sir John and Gloria Noto, among others, star in the "Gender Diversity is Beautiful" campaign, which aims to spread awareness around the discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ community — a pressing issue, considering there were more than 330 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills filed in the United States within the past year alone. 

"Too often this community, especially trans and gender non-conforming people, are erased and made to feel invisible," the celebrities are heard saying in cut-together unison. "It's time for us to take a stance against this legislation and come together in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community because we're the foundation of the industry. We must embrace, support and celebrate all genders and identities..."

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For Mahadra, the issue hits especially close to home. "As someone who is a GNC, non-binary, queer person, the path to my true self has taken a long time," they shared in a statement. "This work is deeply personal, my passion is deeply personal. From inclusivity in the workforce, to representation across all ranks of business, and adequate representation in benefit packages, including healthcare, change needs to happen. As someone who recently underwent top surgery, I firsthand witnessed the prejudice within the healthcare package."

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In addition to the video, there is also a call-to-action for beauty professionals and anyone else to donate to the Transgender Law Center. Additional ways to support can be found at beautyunited.org/activate. But it doesn't just end there — BeautyUnited is currently working to generate a pledge for companies to take part in eradicating workplace discrimination, so stay tuned for more from this growing organization.

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