Tattoo discrimination in my hometown: Follow up (not so much a rant this time)

First off, a personal comment from me:
My last post in response to the oppositions social media posts that cast the tattooed person in a not so great light. I spoke with someone that (I feel) was of the opposing stance, and they were unaware that things were being phrased that way. After hearing some of the opposition speak, I believe that, for the most part, they didn’t mean to come off the way they did in the posts on Facebook (which is unfortunate because it cast a lot of those opposed in a negative way, again, in my opinion). However, I do believe that some of the older generation might still need some persuading that we’re not all scary people. Which is ok.
Many people used they phrase “it’s normal to fear the unknown”. By the end of the meeting what was obvious is that EVERYONE there cares about our city and moving forward. That is our common ground and I am incredibly proud.

Now. Enough about my silly thoughts.

The outcome:

Last night the Planning Committee in Garden Grove listened to dozens of people in the community speak about how an art shop/ tattoo studio on Main Street would be beneficial, not only fiscally, but for injecting some of the current culture into the old and existing.
The meeting started at 7 pm (I was getting text updates from George who was there representing our family while I put the kids to bed) and one of the first texts I got is “wow. There are A LOT of people here”. In fact the council commented how it was the biggest turn out they had ever had. People stood lining the walls in the back. Myself included by the time I arrived a little before 9 o’clock.

It was fantastic. It was positive. It was respectful and it was full of the energy of people wanting what they feel is best for their community. If I try to explain the outcome I will completely botch it because I know next to nothing about zoning or conditional permits and the like. Instead Kurtis Gibson of Black Umbrella (the gentleman who wants to open the shop) had this to say on Facebook this morning:

“It is hard to fully realize how much I don’t have control of things. God has a goal for us on this street.
So we have to go back for another meeting next month. But the commission voted to deny staff’s recommendation of denial. So next meeting is to approve the limits on the conditional use permits. Because of Krystin Gibson and all of you! This happened.
‪#‎GardenGrove‬ sees what we can give it!
Thank you everyone who showed up, everyone who wanted to show up, everyone who posted and share and signed the petition. Every single one of you are awesome!”

Furthermore another supporter had posted this:

“*Update. The Planning Committee overturned the denial of the staff recommendation to deny us of our permit. We will have to go to a Conditional Use meeting for the permit, then the City Council for Final Approval (All Invited!). Let your voice be herd, it works! 50 speakers spoke last night. 6 of 6 unanimous voted for Black Umbrella Art Studio to be the Catalyst of Change on Main St. GG.”

I thought this post was so important because change requires follow through and responsibility. I’m excited for these positive changes to happen in our city and I want to thank everyone that came out and expressed their opinions, the commissioners that sat until 11 pm and to everyone who has taken the time to support this.

Near or far, your voices make a difference.

Thank you.





Tattoo discrimination in my home town.(warning: a rant)

Discrimination is a strong word. Something we associate with bigotry, something we view as (hopefully) bygone backwards thinking.

Those that are different.
Being treated differently.
Being viewed as negative stereotypes.

Websters dictionary defines discrimination as: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Tattoos do not fall under the category of race, age or sex. However they do fall under the category of “different”. To be fair I don’t consider the color of anyone’s skin or the gender of anyone while tattooing my own flesh.
Just FYI.

In my home town a tattoo shop has been trying to establish itself on our Main Street.

The same home town where I rode my bike as a child, ran tame ’til street lights came on in the summer, where I have worked, known public servants, raised my own children, paid taxes, volunteered, defended against the slur “Garbage Grove,” contributed financially at various festivals, historical societies, Boys and Girls Clubs, Arbor Day works, elder care, church functions and day to day LIFE.

This same home town is telling everyone that will listen that a tattoo shop with an art studio in front is basically a “candy store with cigarettes in the back”.
Ironic considering an existing liquor store on Main Street sells both candy and cigarettes in front. Alongside one another.

People that have tattoos, i.e. service men, my brother included that served in Afghanistan (how does that freedom taste Main Street council?), professional athletes, dance instructors, artists, police men and women, teachers, have also been lumped in with “types” that will bring “God only knows what” to Main Street.

Again. Ironic considering the gentleman trying to open the studio is active in his church and a devoted family man.

Let me tell you a little something about our Main Street.

It’s dead.


They have a car show every Friday that is frequented by the same people every week (I would wager 30% of which have tattoos, and before you start checking facts MSNBC has reported that 20% of Americas population have tattoos, up from 13% in 2007). And a farmers market on Sunday that I forget about and I LIVE a half a mile away. They have a kitschy restaurant with Elvis memorabilia, subpar service and a full bar. Another bar. A steak house with a full bar. And a fledgling sushi establishment with (I think) a full bar. Yet a tattoo parlor will change the “tone” of Main Street?

I personally get tattooed in Fullerton. Do you know when I get tattooed? On Saturday evenings when it is more quiet in a tattoo shop than a library at 11:00 am on a Thursday.

Do you know why?

All of the trouble makers are out getting wasted at bars. At my tattoo shop it’s peaceful. It’s quiet. And it’s where I spend my money.

And I’m not alone.

On Saturday evening I went from our tattoo shop in Fullerton to The District in Tustin and you know what? The District, full of intoxicated soccer moms free from the kids felt more obnoxious.

While yes. There can be trouble where any sort of “unseemly crowd” might be present, but that can happen anywhere (can we all recall the drunk gentlemen accosting the guard at the happiest place on earth in front of children)?

I digress.

If we’re going to talk dollars and cents, when I get tattooed, I go for 3 hours MINIMUM. Whomever is with me always wanders off to local establishments and spends money at coffee shops, retail stores and restaurants. Tell me how it’s “bad” to give back to the local economy. Furthermore, I asked all of the lovely people on Facebook as to whom these people are that are so scared of the tattooed folk. Please, let me know. I’m a tax paying citizen who also happens to be a hard core introvert. I will avoid negativity and confrontation at any cost and will tell others to do so as well.

These people are my neighbors?
The people that wave so cheerfully to my children but scowl at their mother?
No thank you, sir. I will take my dollars, volunteer work and positive attitude elsewhere.

The outdated stigma of tattooed people is embarrassing. I’m ashamed that I live in a place where such discrimination can exist. If there were actual educated reasons for not allowing the rezoning to take place (such as blood born issues, etc) then I would say, “Ok, fair enough.” But a fear of “bloody skulls”?

*shakes head*
it’s shameful.

Closing: I have been told that the council meeting for June 18th has already been decided. That the City council will vote however the Main Street council dictates.

*sighs* I wasn’t ready to teach my children the corruption of politics. But I guess I have to start somewhere. Might as well be in our hometown.