EXCLUSIVE: Lauryn England, former celebrity hairstylist turned reality TV star is slated to become the first openly transgender woman to own and operate a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama.
The 27 year old entrepreneur made the announcement on her Instagram page Tuesday (Feb. 1), proudly stating, "I am opening my very first restaurant...Lady E's Chick'n Cafe is coming [to] Birmingham, AL in March!"
"This is honestly mind-blowing to me because I have been manifesting all of my life to own a wing spot because I love chicken. Even before hair or any of the things that people have seen me do, this has been one of my dreams I have always wanted to make come true," England shared exclusively with Gaye Magazine.
England further shared that in honor of her father, whom recently received a kidney transplant, that a portion of the income from Lady E's Chick'n Cafe will be donated to her upcoming kidney foundation to help others who may be affected by kidney failure, dialysis or any other kidney complications.
England brought her fans along for the heartfelt experience on her YouTube-based reality TV show "Just Lauryn".
"My father and I are still deciding on a name for the foundation. I really want my dad to think of something that is meaningful for him," said England to Gaye.
When asked what does she want other to take away from her making history as the first Black, transgender woman to own a restaurant in Alabama, she said,
"For my trans sisters in the community, I just want them to know that we can do anything that we put our mind to because we often get overlooked and put in the shadow due to how we live our lives on a day to day basis."
"I want my trans sisters to know that we don't have to be afraid to showcase our talents. We have to do what we were placed on this earth to do, even when we feel like people are not going to accept it. I want people all over the world, you don't even have to be trans or in the LGBT community, but I want people to know that if we focus on ourselves and focus on every god given talent that was given to us there is nothing or anyone that can stop us. We can only stop ourselves."
Alabama is known for proposing anti-LGBT legislature. More recently in May last year, Alabama lawmakers ended their legislative session without a vote on one of the most controversial bills before them: a measure to outlaw gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors, according to the Reading Eagle. Thankfully, England is maintaining her courage to move forward despite any future challenges she may face.
"If nobody ever [wants] to walk into my restaurant because I am trans, I am still going to be cooking chicken every day because I am not doing this for the money, I am doing it because it is truly my passion."
"I want to inspire us to go at it...we have to support and inspire each other. We have to let everybody within our community know what it is that we're doing so that way we can all grow together. We can only get through this thing together by making the world accept us. How can anybody respect us if we are hiding our talents and only showing them what they already think of us. Like 'yes, I may be a trans woman' but you can't say I'm not about my business."
Lady E's Chick'n Cafe is expected to open this Spring.