"my haircut came out before I did" --Anonymous
You cut your hair on a Tuesday when the newspaper revealed
fourteen different murders spread out in over five different territories.
On page eleven, there was an interview with a survivor of sex trafficking
who had just written a book, which seemed to receive high praise. The weather
outside could have been described as drab or B-movie-horror bone chilling.
But none of that mattered because you cut your hair from twelve inches or nine
to two or four and now you are no longer what you were.
When you were seventeen, you grabbed the slightly rusted scissors found in
mother’s coupon drawer, stormed up to your purple-drenched bedroom and
began severing all the compliments out of your hair. You watched a puddle of
the only thing anyone ever noticed about you cover the floor. You refused to
watch as you amputated each strand, tufts at a time. And then, you turned around
to face your massacre and you smiled. Because now, the only thing distracting away
from your face is what really matters: your brain.
Your parent sees you post-shear and asks why you always feel the need
to make yourself unattractive. You wonder why hair means so much to
others, when it contains no tongue and chords to speak and impress.
Can be used as camouflage to hide and protect. You use this method to conceal
the parts of you which do not match the way you feel inside. See: vagina
Before, when it fell past your shoulders, the whistlers called you beautiful and sexy.
Compared you to princesses and paper dolls. After, everyone forgot to look.
You learn that hair has a sexual orientation because when you no longer have it, suddenly
everyone sees you asgay or queer or a dyke or butch. All the words that were always inside
you and had nothing to do with your hair.
There seems to be a binary in the non-binary of queer measured by haircut, so you give in.
You spend two months doing research. Going to LGBTQ events to study the queer coifs that
seem to be in rotation. You catalogue about five different kinds, but none would work with the
frizz genetically burned into your scalp, so you leave your hair alone. Hope you are still seen
by just your presence in the room. You give it fifteen minutes. Then forty. You leave having
uttered only the exhales of your oxygen.
When you move to New York City, you worry about your leg hair. And all the curls and stench
beneath your arms.It is summertime and all the other female presenters are smooth like
sanded-down wood. You sit on subway, hoping no one will notice. Then across, you see a
gender-experimenting human with hair to match yours. When they smile, it reaches your face
and you feel seen for the first time in this siren-soaked city. You stop worrying about others.
You throw away your razors, which at this point had just grown oxidized. You stop putting
so much pressure on your hair to define who you are. You buy a dictionary and start learning
new words to call yourself. You came out of the closet almost twenty years ago, so you stop allowing
its contents to define you as well. When you enter spaces, you stop waiting for others to speak to you.
Because you are tired of waiting. Because you know you are a beautiful anomaly. But so are they.
With or without hair.