As protests continue throughout the state fighting for racial equality, one spot in Florida is helping those who want to "re-join humanity." Fantasy Tattoos is doing free racist tattoo cover-ups in Orange Park. The shop has resumed the program after parlors across the state were forced to close back in March.
"Fantasy Tattoos wishes all our friends and customers peace and prosperity during what are difficult times for many. We ourselves believe the world needs more love and reconciliation, and in that spirit we want to remind everyone about our mission to rid the world of as many of these as possible," they said in a Facebook post, showing before and afters of the tattoos.
The parlor is offering this free service for individuals who have reconciled with their past and are looking for a transformation. And for those who take issue with their message, they tell them to go elsewhere.
Tattoo artist Trevor Thompson, who goes by @eastbaytreyy on Instagram, told Narcity that he started the service because he felt that he "owed it to the universe to chip away at the negativity [he] once pushed."
Thompson said that when he was younger he followed the "skinhead scene" and got caught up in the "subculture and imagery."
It wasn't until he started having kids and training at Smiley Academy of Martial Arts that he knew he had to get rid of traces of his former life. He started laser treatment but soon turned to covering them up instead.
"I had already begun covering the tattoos on my body at this point. What used to be symbols of pride that I wore around the world as warpaint now just weighed me down, symbols of my shame," Thompson said.
He would go on to reach out to friends he knew that had similar symbols and asked if he could cover them up back in 2018.
Though it wasn't until he talked with his mother that he decided to offer the service for free at Fantasy Tattoos.
And while other artists around the country have followed suit more recently, Thompson said that he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
"I plan on doing this for as long as I'm able to tattoo," he said.
*This piece has been updated.