Today we’d like to introduce you to Luke Loy.
Hi Luke, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I guess I should start my story at the beginning, although in reality, I must tell you, I do not have any great childhood memories to bring forth. My real father was very abusive. However, I was fortunate to be blessed with an amazing mother, Phyllis Swartz. After many years, she finally realized the destruction that my father had caused us as a family, she packed all of our belongings and we left.
For the first time in my life, the beatings and abuse had vanished and finally, I could smile. Mom remarried an amazing man and I quickly found out what having a real father was like. He was wonderful to my mom and also to me and my siblings. I married at 18 and had 4 amazing children. Although I was a husband and father, I knew that I had to somehow face what I had known my entire life. I had been carrying something deep within that I could no longer hide. I had to breathe, I had to tell, I had to be free!
My secret within, I was gay and I could no longer continue to deceive everyone, including myself. At the age of 24, I had to tell the one person that needed to know my secret, the mother of my children, my wife. Although it was a very hard thing to do, I knew the truth had to be told. We both agreed to the divorce and no one will ever know the extent within of the happiness I had finally felt for the first time in my life. I was free, I was finally myself, the true Luke Loy. As far back as I could remember, I had a deep passion for styling hair and doing make-up.
I loved the thought of changing not only the outer looks of someone but also being a part of changing how they felt about themself within. I was 24 when I graduated from cosmetology school and received my license. Let me tell you, that was the proudest day of my life. It was during this time that I had also begun my first gay relationship. I had no idea where it would lead me and I looked at every day as a new beginning. After being abused most of my younger years in life, I could easily detect the early signs of abuse.
It didn’t take long to realize that I had wanted something so strongly but dive into this relationship way too quickly. I fought daily with hopes that he would change, however, you cannot help an alcoholic that won’t try to help themselves. After 8 long hard years, I knew I had to leave him in order to build a future for myself. I was very fortunate while I was in cosmetology school. I had also been working on starting my very first shop. I called it “Hidden Highlights.” Finally, after I graduated, I began my lifetime career of watching people change right before my eyes. It was a very successful adventure and I learned so much about not only being a business owner but also, I finally had found myself.
I then ventured towards my goal of opening new, bigger, and better salons every four years. A few years later I opened a fast-growing women’s fitness center, hair salon, tanning, full-service salon, and I absolutely loved it. I guess with so much in my past that continued to haunt me throughout my success, the culprit of stress finally caught up to me. I started having massive anxiety attacks. On too if everything else, the relationship I was in at this time was not good. He was out to destroy the person I had become and slowly started shredding my hopes and dreams. Wasn’t good he had the landlord, whom I thought was an honest and trustworthy friend had come to me and requested that I sign papers in order to have my current companion from ever entering the property again.
Well, leave it to me to believe the word of someone I trusted, those papers I signed were actually to have me vacated. Once signed, it validated that I had just given him everything. I had lost it all within minutes. I stayed in my home for over a year never once wondering far from my front door terrified of having another uncontrollable anxiety attack. I didn’t drive for 2 years and actually, I had to learn to drive all over again. With my faith in God along with many prayers from true family and friends, one morning I woke up and told myself I will not live like this any longer! That’s the day that my real healing process began.
Overcoming panic attacks was very hard for me to battle but I finally understood within that I had nothing to fear, success was waiting for me and I could do anything, even if I had to do it alone.
I started working again out of my home. I designed a small area in my home and started accepting clients once again. I had nowhere else to go but up and my determination was at its peak. During these years of enduring one battle after another, I must tell you that not once, not one single time, did I ever hold any animosity against anyone. Shortly after beginning a path to a new future, damnation struck but once again. Out of nowhere, my health began to deteriorate.
During this, I woke up one morning and I could not move my body from my waist to my feet. I had literally become paralyzed. No warning signs, no pain, I had become handicapped overnight. This had become one of the most challenging battles I had to face in my entire life. The doctors told me that I may never walk again. As crazy as it may sound, I refused to step away from this setback, I had made my mind up to fight this head-on just like all of my other battles in life. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a degenerative disc disease.
I put my suit of armor on and the battle began. I was not going to quit; I had come too far in life to give in to any new battle. Well, guess what, I proved them wrong! My faith and willpower to succeed outweighed this disease. I continued to do hair. I would set on the floor with my clients sitting next to me so that I could still work. God has blessed me with so many amazing friends/clients. The doctors wanted me to go on disability at a young age but I absolutely refused.
Here I am, 32 years later. I’m walking, talking, and still doing what I love doing for others, refreshing them from the outside with a new look on the outside while building much-needed confidence on the inside.
Shortly after this ordeal, I had moved into a beautiful Victoria home, completely remodeled it, and had begun my new salon business. About a year after opening, a man and his wife started coming to me to get their hair done but I didn’t really know them personally. This guy seemed to know so much about me but since my name and life were always public, I really didn’t give it a second thought. One day he approached me telling me that he wanted to sponsor a major concert in the surrounding area. He explained his knowledge and provided credentials detailing his proven track record of such events I thought this was amazing.
During this time, I was at the ending stage of finalizing my own hair product line. I had worked with 4 chemists for over 5 years to finally produce what would have been, a very successful product.
Shortly afterwards, he called one day and said; “Luke why don’t you bring your hair products to the concert and sit up a booth.” He said he would provide a big banner which he would put on the stage which listed my business and my new products along with my picture so that attendants at the concert would recognize me and would purchase from my booth.
I was over the moon excited! I told him this would be such a step for me in finally building a lifetime dream. During this time, he was in and out of my salon handling his business and controlling the details of his event. Then, all of a sudden, I heard nothing from him nor did he come to the salon. A few days went past and the most damnation phone call for my future came from him which was setting me up for total destruction! He raved that he had just signed “Lady Gaga” and “Adam Lambert.” I was static! He stated that he had just confirmed the deal and had leased a venue. He had hired staff and a Chef to cook for the day which would bring in high profits.
I was so excited for the community. Not only for many fans of the signed performers but for revenue this would bring to our small community. I just couldn’t imagine how wonderful this event would be for everyone involved. I have always been a die-hard fan of building my community. I would help anyone while trying to make a better place for all to live and call home. Well, he began selling tickets from my place of business/home. Within 3 days in it had become international news. It was crazy!
Then all at once, the sky begins to fall! Here I am, permitting this great-known concert promoter to use my business to sell tickets to an enormous event that I, Luke Loy, would be setting up a booth to sell my new products. It didn’t take long for many Adam Lambert fans to say; Hey, wait a minute. How can Adam have 2 concerts in different states on the same day near the same time frame?? Many had already purchased tickets for his “real” scheduled concert and requests for refunds had begun. Fans contacted the press which eventually brought them to my front door with questions and accusations of fraud and deceit that I was numb by.
I went from being excited to what the hell is going on? Our local newspaper made me look like a criminal that had just escaped from the Alcatraz prison! Every day for 3 weeks, I was the front full-page story. They did not once write anything of the truth! Even after all the details of my innocents were brought forth, to this day 11 years later they still enjoy using tactics of damnation every chance they can. Through all of this, I held my head high, I knew I had been scammed and practically destroyed but I also knew, I was innocent.
Every night I would sit at night and read all the comments from people all over the world. Some would degrade me, but many, many defended me. Let it be known that I am very grateful that Adam Lambert’s fans brought it to the media attention. Unbeknownst to me, this man had sold over 18,000 tickets in 3 days. I was floored by this! I eventually had to retain a lawyer. I was so confused and lost I couldn’t believe why someone would do this to me. I was not only losing my home and business; I was watching my reputation of helping others be destroyed.
I went to court every time however, to this day, he has never shown face. Everyone that had purchased tickets either showed up at court or had someone there to represent them. I could feel so much hatred and anger from these innocent individuals, I prayed that they knew that I was in the same boat as them, I was scammed right along with them. They wanted their money, yet I had no idea where their money was at. It was in the hands of the thief that had skipped the state! After 2 court hearings, he could not be located and the people were demanding damnation on this entire situation, they wanted their money.
Here I set, $117 in my bank towards my light bill, and hundreds of people wanting money from me for the theft caused by this man. Finally, I called my mom to ask for her help. I wanted to pay everyone back that I could. I did not do this out of guilt, I did this because I knew how these people were feeling. He took their money and had put me on a path of life destruction. It took me many years to repay my mom back but it was done. I gave back to everyone I could, somehow within, I forgave this inhuman individual (but I’ll never forget) and I moved on. My life has always been an open book to my community. I have nothing to hide from anyone.
Starting new adventures seems to have followed me throughout my life. So, last year I ran for Mayor of Martinsburg, West Virginia. Once again, the local newspaper felt the need to once again make an effort to degrade me during the article listing local candidates. Eleven years later and BAM, I am the candidate that deceived the public in the Lady Gaga saga!!! You know, if making money from trying to destroy someone in your own community who is known by thousands and thousands around the world as an honest person, brings sales from a dishonest article, so be it. I and many, many others know the truth
People will believe whatever they like but I will continue to do for my community and continue to make others feel beautiful about themselves. I was asked to be on the TV show called the Gypsy Sisters. I have known this family for many years, they are my family, just like so many others are within this community. When I was asking to join the show, I knew I had to do this to show the world that this is the real “Luke Loy.” Nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. I was also asked to be in the Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.
What a lifetime memorial experience. I am internationally known for doing hair and makeup I have many fans and friends now all over the world that loves me and supports me for partaking in these shows. I had a gentleman in Germany tattoo all of the Gypsy cast names on his leg and even added my full name to the list. I wrote my first book with the complete hope of inspiring others to NEVER give up against anything that comes your way in life. You may get it on Amazon titled “Be good to Yourself, Kind to Others by Luke Loy.”
I am currently working on my life story. I hope to have it published and available within the coming year. So, what is the true journey to my success? Easy, stay true to who you are, and no matter what you face you know that the storm will pass and your future still awaits. The life of Luke Loy, an open door so that others may learn and grow!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I had many obstacles and challenges but I never gave up and I stay true to who I am.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a hairdresser and make-up artist also was on the TLC TV show Gypsy Sister and my Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. I worked with a celebrity photographer they did the photos, I did the hair and make-up. It’s been 32 years now every day still feels like my first day.
To keep motivating others to become better a person. Showing others I truly care. To get my life story out of my next book (My life behind my chair).
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: hairbylukewv.com
- Facebook: Luke Loy or Hair by Luke also Luke Loy TLC