Freedom: Big and Small

Photo by Kristina V on Unsplash

I’m sure many have wondered why so many queer people have hair that is somehow out-of-the-box. Like a feminine girl cutting her hair short, or someone bleaching and dyeing their hair a bold color on a random Thursday night. Queer people can be viewed negatively for this and looked down on as “weird” for the choices we make. Obviously anyone can have funky hair, but why is it so prevalent in the queer community?

The answer is easy: freedom. For queer people who are out and proud, living out-of-the-box is something we’re familiar with. We already tackle and defy societal norms in a way that cisgender, straight people don’t. So once you’ve mastered freedom in a grander context, why not let that freedom trickle down into everyday choices like how you can wear your hair? I think this is why so many queer people see their hair as a representation of their sexuality and a symbol of their freedom and pride.

I’m definitely not thinking about this extra lately because I’m dyeing my even shorter pixie cut pastel pink next week… wink wink. But seriously, this is something I hold in my heart on a daily basis. This freedom looks different for every queer person. Maybe just gradually getting her hair cut shorter and shorter each time she goes to the salon is the way a masculine woman exercises the freedom she’s starting to feel on the inside. Or maybe keeping his hair long is the way a boy feels most like himself when he looks in the mirror. Or maybe she—meaning me—cuts off 13 inches of her hair and dyes it her favorite color.

I love physical manifestations of what I feel on the inside. When I first came out, I actually shied away from the color pink. I felt like I had to fit into a more masculine box to feel valid, especially because I don’t wear makeup. But I’ve totally trashed that way of thinking. I LOVE the color pink. That’s in capitals for a reason—my bedroom in my college apartment is bursting with pink, and soon my hair will be too. I’ve mastered the art of freedom on the inside and the outside. Fuck it, I’m going to kiss whoever I want to kiss. Fuck it, I’m going to wear my hair however I want to wear it. Freedom isn’t the journey; it’s something you take with you on yours. So hold onto it for the short time you’re on this earth. Oh, and maybe learn from the queer people around you who have wild hair.

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