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Tabatha Coffey Cuts to the Chase in an Advocate Interview

Tabatha Coffey Cuts to the Chase in an Advocate Interview

Tabatha Coffey, out host of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, combs over what you won’t read in her empowering new memoir, It’s Not Really About the Hair. Coffey notes that the memoir "probably isn’t the book that anyone expected me to write, but I was inspired by the emotional e-mails I get from fans.” It also explores Coffey’s struggle between protecting her nonconformist lesbian identity and honoring her responsibility to the LGBT community.

Tabatha Coffey, out host of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, combs over what you won’t read in her empowering new memoir, It’s Not Really About the Hair.

Tabatha Coffey, like hairstylists all over the world, has become a trusted therapist for clients at her intimate salon, Industrie Hair Gurus in Ridgewood, N.J., listening quietly to their problems and confessions as she trims their bangs or twists a mean chignon. But in Coffey’s new self-help memoir, It’s Not Really About the Hair, it’s her turn to unload.

“She’s got a huge personality unlike anyone I’ve ever come across,” says Andy Cohen, Bravo’s executive vice president of original programming and development. “She’s unfiltered, totally disarming, laugh-out-loud funny, and an expert in her field, which makes her a bull’s-eye Bravolebrity.”

Coffey is not, however, forthcoming about her personal life, remarkably so considering she’s on a network celebrated for its table-flipping Housewives franchise. In fact, the 43-year-old lesbian says there have been only a few times she’s referenced her sexual orientation on her show.

Coffey explains. “It’s Not Really About the Hair probably isn’t the book that anyone expected me to write, but I was inspired by the emotional e-mails I get from fans.” The questions Coffey regularly receives are, as her book’s title implies, not really about the hair; viewers mainly inquire about her coming-out story and the root of her brash confidence. “I wanted to share some life lessons, especially in light of the recent bullying and gay teen suicides.”

Aside from tame tidbits about their relationship, Coffey keeps her partner of 12 years, whom she does not identify in the book, to herself. “I was honest and candid about everything else, but it was a personal choice to draw the line at that,” Coffey explains. “She’s incredibly private. I’ve chosen to put myself out there, and I respect that she doesn’t want to be a part of that. It’s enough, and it says something to everyone — gay and straight — just to be in a long-term relationship that works. When everything else is so public, it’s nice to come home to that haven.”

It’s Not Really About the Hair also explores Coffey’s struggle between protecting her nonconformist lesbian identity and honoring her responsibility to the LGBT community. “I live privately in that my partner and I are private, but I do have a voice as a gay woman in the public eye,” says Coffey, who participated in an early PSA for the NoH8 campaign. “I don’t feel like I have to wave a flag in a parade, but I’m the first person to talk about equality. People with power need to stop hiding in closets. If one person can be comforted or encouraged by the fact that I’m out and successful, then it’s all worth it.”

Read the full article here.

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