Kennewick salon to be safe haven for LGBTQ community

A world full of different people. Not one person is the same, but some life experiences are similar.

Faith Gambetty and Kath Barry are both transgender women, best friends, and they recently opened their own salon, but not without life’s struggles along the way.

“I actually almost had to beg for applications,” Gambetty said.

Gambetty said she also suffered from alcoholism, the use of drugs, suicidal thoughts and gender dysphoria. It’s where a person battles their physical gender and what they identify with. She’s only been living as her true self since April 2019.

She was a salon owner and had to close the business due to medical reasons. Gambetty said by some miracle, she recovered. However, finding a job was difficult.

“Katherine saw the frustration that I was going through. I was feeling pretty bad about myself,” she said.

That’s when a few months ago an idea sparked.

“Kath said the heck with them, let’s open our own salon. She said, yeah let’s just open up our own salon,” Gambetty said. “I didn’t know what people would think of a trans girl being a –their hairdresser or a trans woman owning the salon.”

“We didn’t know anything about a salon, but it seemed like the best solution that was best for Faith,” Barry said.

A friend put a post on the Tri-Cities LGTBQ Facebook page, asking how people would feel about a salon of this nature. They said the response was overwhelmingly positive.

So, they went all-in with Wavelengths Salon. Gambetty said the name came from a salon in California.

Her friends owned it and the name stuck with her. Barry’s daughter created the logo and a mural of a white tree on the inside.

For them, the salon is about acceptance.

“Not only did Katherine create a safe haven workplace for me to work she also created a safe haven for the entire LGBTQ community,” Gambetty explained.

“People from the LGBT community would feel very comfortable being here and talking about whatever they want to talk about being around two transgender women,” Barry said.

They said they want to be diverse, lend a listening ear and reach out to the entire community, not just the LGBTQ.

“It’s come as you are. We accept you no matter who you are, what you are,” Gambetty explained. “It just doesn’t matter to us. We’re going to love you just the same. We’re willing to listen. We want to find out who you are.”

And help others find out who they are.

“The message is come in and get to know us and find out that we’re just like you,” Gambetty said.

Prices for the salon will not vary by gender. It will all be the same. Wavelengths Salon will have their open house on Nov. 9. Their doors will open for business on Nov. 12. Their hours are Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturdays, they’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit their Facebook page for more information or call them at (509) 405-0193. They’re located at 5009 Clearwater Avenue.