Lesbian Problems: Hair

Guys– sometimes it is really hard being a lesbian. Discrimination etc blah blah, but ALSO ALSO ALSO the amount of emotional crap to sort through when making seemingly simple decisions like CUTTING YOUR DAMN HAIR.

Seriously. Stick with me.

My hair has reached a very awkward phase. It’s grown out of the cute pixie, past the passable shaggy pixie to a full out poof tastic/still a little justin bieber-y mess.

This was (sort of) fine because I was mostly unemployed for a while, so I spent a lot of time in my pajamas watching netflix, but now I’m working a real live grown up Librarian job (more on that soon) and I wear real people clothes and I want to at least look like I have some of my life together.

So now I am faced with a choice:

1) keep pushing past the awkward growing out phase which will require time and energy that I don’t have, but will result in the ability to put it in a ponytail when I don’t feel like showering once it’s long and also doing more fun things with it


2) give in and get it cut back into a pixie that that hopefully makes me look like Jennifer Lawrence, but which will cost money that I don’t have  but always looks cute

It’s a serious “two roads diverged in a yellow wood situation”

But if only, IF ONLY it was that simple.

Because on top of this decision is a layer of angst that only us gayelle types can manage.

One of the first things I did when I came out of the closet was to cut all my hair off. Now, partly this was because I was also newly free of my college voice teacher’s rule that I had to keep my hair at least shoulder length (she did have reasons that make sense on a professional level that I won’t go into, but it was a drag), but partly it was because I wanted to do something that would be the equivalent of waving a GIANT RAINBOW FLAG over my head all the time. I wanted to SEND THE GAY SIGNAL (like the Bat Signal, but gayer) to all the homos around me.

So while I love my short hair, I have come to a place where I wonder if I keep it short because I want to keep it short or because I feel like I have to keep it short in order to be read as a lez. Especially since I often get read as straight, even with the short hair. I worry that I MUST KEEP IT SHORT in order to get laid/meet gay friends/meet potential girlfriends.

i seem to be very bad atThis is probably an irrational fear. Or, at least there are probably also other factors contributing to my lack of getting laid.

But I also worry that if I grow it long I am somehow betraying the sisterhood. Reading as straight comes with its privileges. While it can be incredibly frustrating in the homo world, it also means that I usually have the option of not identifying myself as a dyke unless I want to. It is an unwanted privilege, but it is privilege nonetheless.  And if I grow my hair long am I accepting, or welcoming that privilege? Am Icontributing to the idea that women must be feminine in order to be beautiful? I don’t think that, I promise — I love me a butchy dyke– but.. but.. but is that the message I’m sending out if I grow it long?

But if I don’t grow it long just because I feel like I shouldn’t, isn’t that as bad as keeping it long because society tells me that I should?

anna kendrickThe first time I cut it super short I felt this incredible feeling of EMPOWERMENT. Seriously- it was weird, I felt like I was unstoppable. Just because I cut my hair short. I like that. I want to keep that.

But having short hair doesn’t make a person powerful, any more than having long hair makes a person powerless. And there are plenty of fabulous femme lezzers who get girls with long hair. So it’s all just a mind game.

Part of it is that I don’t want to be that girl who has the same haircut for decades in a row. But then, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? And also, do I really care that much about ‘keeping up with fashion’ because I don’t, but then kind of I do a little. baaaaahhhhh FEELINGS.

The other interesting thing, is that my friends who have only ever known me with short hair have said that they can’t even picture me with long hair. When I showed a new friend an old photo of me with shoulder length hair she didn’t even recognize me. Our appearance inevitably becomes part of our identity, both to ourselves and to others. Do I want to change something that is (apparently) so much a part of my own identity? Or do I just feel like I should? Or do I feel like I should because I kind of feel like I shouldn’t and I’m just being contrary?

Is the me with long hair the old/closeted/mess that I was and is the me with short hair the new/out&proud/confident person that I (mostly) am now?

Or am I seriously overthinking this whole damn thing?

bunheads youre madMaybe I am mad. But then again, maybe not.


6 thoughts on “Lesbian Problems: Hair

  1. I think it makes sense that you’re bringing all these questions to the forefront of your decision and it’s better that you know why you’re having reservations one way or another, rather than just sit in a pile of indecision. You’ve clearly thought out the pros and cons of each side and that will help you make a better decision.
    I’m currently considering whether or not to grow out my hair and, though I’m not a lesbian, I am coming one or two similar reservations with not wanting to succumb to the “girls should have long hair” and “short hair looks less feminine” aspect. Because I don’t want to be defined by everyone else’s standards of beauty and femininity.
    Then again, I’m also the type of person who likes to switch up things in my appearance every few months or so. Whether that’s a tattoo, new haircut, new hair color, or piercing; I never seem to know until a few days before.
    So good luck to you. I’m sure you’ll figure out what’s best for you. Just remember that, ultimately, it’s your choice. No one else’s. 🙂
    [P.S. Sorry for writing a novella of a response.”

    1. I love your response so don’t even apologize!! This is one of those things that all my lesbian friends have thought about and most of my straight friends when I brought it up to them said “I have never even thought of that!” Clearly there are exceptions — awesomely with it people like you 🙂

  2. I have been experiencing this exactly, but the opposite. I want to cut off my hair again, or do something different, but I’m stuck on all of the same things. That and my girlfriend doesn’t want me to cut my hair… UGHHHHH FRUSTRATIONS!

  3. I had short hair for a long time even when I was closeted, but then some of my “friends” told me I should grow it out b/c it made me look like a lesbian :eyeroll: so I did and was miserable because I hated my long hair. When I finally came out and started over, one of the first things I did was cut my hair, not necessarily to help wave my rainbow flag, but simply because I like it short. Now my wife and I give each other hair cuts, which is occasionally an adventure.

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