Trans activist and founder of OYT Cosmetics, Courtnei Lee is transforming the beauty industry, one huge step at a time. From a small cosmetic line to a booming business, Lee sets the example for what it means to lead with integrity, respect, and inclusivity. Read on to learn how OYT Cosmetics is creating big shifts with its mission to give back to the community in more ways than one.
It’s hard to come by authentic and ethically-founded beauty companies these days with more fake facades than the truth. Purpose-driven companies are uncommon, and we’re still seeing many brands taking a surface-based approach when it comes to representing the LGBTQ2+ community with poor representation and cliche marketing like rainbow-colored packaging during pride.
Not only is there a lack of acceptable representation, there still remains discrimination and a lack of support in North America. Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ2+ people have faced workplace discrimination in the United States, with 46%reporting unfair treatment at some point in their career due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
During our interview, we asked Courtnei Lee what makes her company different from the rest, and her answer was simple: having integrity and respect for everyone.
“Behind every company is what the company stands for. You can sell anything, but if your company doesn’t have integrity and respect for everybody, then I don’t think it’s worth investing in their products,” Lee reinstates, and her beauty line, OYT Cosmetics, is more than just a makeup brand, it’s a representation of inclusion and diversity.
Lee is showing the world that it’s ok to be open about your identity and that “people living authentic lives, being happy, and loving themselves shouldn’t be something that is up for debate or discrimination.”
Lee stands for change and her products express that. OYT Cosmetics does more than produce rainbow products in pride month to appear as LGBTQ2+ inclusive, the entire corporation is built on integrity, from their production process, community work, marketing strategies, inclusive hiring, creating a safe work environment, and more.
Courtnei Lee, as seen in Grazia, is the founder of OYT Cosmetics, a trans activist, and an influencer. As a young trans woman, Lee has experienced firsthand the discrimination and inequality the LGBTQ2+ community faces on a daily basis, but in 2019, she put her foot down and made it her purpose to make a change. OYT Cosmetics embodies the true meaning of an ethical company with its mission to do better for misrepresented individuals and support those in need.
OYT Cosmetics is Vancouver-based and supports ethical and diverse beauty by celebrating the LGBTQ2+ community and making individuals feel beautiful in their own unique skin.
An important part of Lee’s cosmetic brand is community work and giving back to her local community, Vancouver. What started as a makeup line to support LGBTQ2+ individuals has grown into a movement of giving back in more ways than one.
“Being able to give back to my community was a huge goal for me from the beginning,” Lee shares, and in a short amount of time has successfully grown her company to be able to do just that.
During the 44th anniversary of the Vancouver Pride Parade, Lee and her company OYT Cosmetics handed out over $15, 000 dollars worth of products to show their support. Lee and her team also support live drag performances and shows in Vancouver and contribute to Rainbow Refugee, a non-profit organization that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada due to persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Every time somebody buys a product it gives us the power to be able to give back to somebody else, which will always be a huge turning point for the company,” says Lee.
From starting off in a 400-square-foot room to shipping products worldwide, OYT Cosmetics is on the rise to becoming a full-fledged revolutionary beauty line.
“I never expected a global expansion and to be on covers of magazines that I’ve read my entire life and looked up to,” she exclaims. “My younger self would be really proud of how far I’ve come, and that my makeup not only looks good but does good for the community.”
There still remain acceptance issues with race, gender identity, and trans people as it is becoming controversial for these individuals to just exist.
“I’m hoping that this company, being in the public eye and having a platform, will be able to show people it’s not something that’s up for discussion. People’s happiness and their existence isn’t something that should have an opinion of any person besides the person that’s living that.”
Courtnei Lee and her revolutionary beauty brand OYT Cosmetics strive to make a change for anyone living in fear of expressing their true selves and support those who face discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. OYT Cosmetics stands for diversity, respect, and giving back to the community and are changing the beauty industry for the better. Keep up with Lee and her inclusive beauty line to follow along with their mission for change and support the LGBTQ2+ community.
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