Why I Cut My Hair After Coming Out To My Mom

Cutting My Hair Was The Second Best Choice I've Ever Made, Right After Coming Out To My Mom

Sometimes a trip to the salon is all it takes to find yourself.

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Everyone craves a change from time to time.

It's natural and since it grows back, our hair is often the thing we turn to fulfill that desire. Anything can spark a sudden urge to switch things up, a messy breakup, a promotion at work or maybe sometimes we just want to try something new.

For me, the need for a new look was sparked by one simple sentence: "Mom, I'm gay."

After letting my mom in on my best kept and biggest secret, I knew something had to shift. I needed to physically embody my sexuality finally, after keeping it a secret for so long. So naturally, I headed down to the salon, sat down and got the most tragic half-shave haircut I've ever had.

Now, don't get me wrong, at the moment that half shaved asymmetrical bob was everything to me. It felt so right, to me. However, looking back now almost four years later I can't help but wonder how I wasn't teased mercilessly.

The real change, the one that stuck, came around about a year after. I finally said goodbye to the one piece of long hair I had been holding on to. Sitting in the same salon, I traded in the asymmetrical half-shave for the real deal! A full shave, both sides and the back with just a little bit left up top.

When my hairdresser spun me around to take a look after it was all said and done, immediately had tears in my eyes and couldn't do much more than alternate between "thank you" and "oh my god I loved it."

As a masculine-presenting queer woman, there was this kind of catharsis that happened when I finally got the "big chop." I was finally seeing myself as I wanted to be seen. I got the typical lesbian haircut, which for me meant that I finally fully embraced my sexuality and was putting out there for the world to see too. My hair now serves as a kind of unsaid "Yes, what you're thinking is right. I am gay and I'm proud of it!"

With all of the good, naturally, there comes some bad too. Well, not even bad just....interesting. My new haircut coupled with my love of menswear really threw some people for a loop. My mom was asked questions like "does your son want another cup of coffee?" Or "Oh make him carry the groceries to the car."

When we would both look at these people in deep confusion, they would move back at me as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. I would correct them as politely as I could and go about my day but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me at times.

Now though, it doesn't even phase me. Call me sir, bro, ma'am miss, it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day I know who I am. And I couldn't be happier with or more thankful for my hair. It's helped really feel like myself and become a powerful queer woman that owns her identity and her journey.

I can say with nothing but confidence that cutting off all of my hair was by far the best decision I've ever made!

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10 Outfits Every College Girl Wears To Class At Least Once

You can thank me later.
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It's happened on more than one occasion.

The occasion of being called out more than once for dressing down for class and by "down" I mean some of the haters we hate to love claiming that they can't see the shorts we're wearing under the oversized band tee on our way to class.

Contrary to popular belief, yes I'm not oblivious to how my choice of outfits for class tends to shift on the more comfortable side and yes, I am aware that it looks like I'm not wearing pants, I like it that way.

Every girl in college wears what they feel is comfortable enough to wear in a 2-hour lecture and these are my ideas of comfort.

1. The infamous oversized tee with Nike shorts.

I'll say it right now, I have a variety of assorted Soffee and Nike shorts that I pair with almost every oversized tee I own and it's my go-to for those 8 AM math lectures.

2. Oversized tee with leggings and riding boots.

Once the first red, yellow and orange leaf is found on campus grounds, you know you're about to see a swarm of college girls, like me, sporting riding boots in every shade of brown. Jeans optional.

3. Oversized tee with leggings and rain boots.

Once the first rainfall hits campus, you better believe you'll see this same 'fit paired with Hunter boots in almost every color.

4. The "I'm going to the gym right after class, I SWEAR" look.

Whether or not I have plans to go to the gym after class or not, I'm probably in my gym gear 4 times of the week and I'm not ashamed by it.

5. Jeans.

I've always had a hate/hate relationship with wearing jeans when I absolutely do not have to and here's why: they make my derriere completely disappear. When (and if) you catch me wearing jeans in lecture hall it's probably because someone paid me a large sum of money to do so.

6. Your boyfriend's flannel paired with... you guessed it, your favorite pair of leggings.

This is probably one of the many flannels I've stolen from my boyfriend and certainly not the last one. Paired with another favorite standard black leggings, you can't go wrong with this outfit to snooze in.

7. The baseball hat and quarter zip ensemble.

One of my all times favorites, you can't go wrong with a zipper up 3x too big for your body and a baseball hat you honestly forgot where you got it from. We also can't forget our infamous black leggings.

8. Your "walk of shame" outfit.

Now, this doesn't mean you roll up to Intro to Psychology wearing what you wore to the lacrosse mixer the night before, no. This is more of the outfit you so quickly had to throw on in a span of two minutes because you left so and so's apartment downtown an hour too late.

9. A v-neck.

Another one of my favorites.

10. Dresses (or anything even relatively formal).

Disclaimer: I personally would never come to class wearing this but gigantic kudos to cute a** girls that do decide to wear this because you look good.

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Yes, I Am 'Gay Enough' And Know That This Pride Month You Are Always Validly And Correctly Yourself

Now that it's Pride Month, I've got some news for y'all.

ashlyn
ashlyn
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Pride Month is underway, and corporations across the globe are cranking out rainbow-colored merchandise to rake in extra profit. It's my second Pride Month being out of the closet as a lesbian, and seeing millions of people like me celebrating who they are is incredible and empowering. While we celebrate this wonderful month, we still have to face the prejudices and stereotypes that face our community on a day to day basis. One of the more subdued issues facing our community is the power of snap judgments. Straight and gay people alike are quick to assume one's sexual orientation and gender identity, often times without knowing anything about this person.

The way media has portrayed members of the LGBTQ+ community has resulted in a number of enduring schemas in our heads of what a queer or trans person is like. This can include anything from how we look, how we talk, what we like, and how we present ourselves. While it may seem like standard stereotyping, which most people do with a variety of different subgroups and cultures, it can be incredibly detrimental to one's mental health. The desire to match the expectations of one's identity, or being "gay enough" or "bi enough" or "trans enough", is enough to impact self-esteem to a significant degree.

As a gay woman, I deal with this a lot. In these sorts of interactions, whether it's in person or after someone has seen my Twitter, it usually starts out with someone saying something like "Wait, you're gay?" and "Wow, you don't look it". Another popular question to follow is "So, like, are you bi?". I usually just correct them and say that I'm a lesbian, but that question has always thrown me off. It would be one thing if I got it sometimes, but it's something else given I get it a lot. Why, though? Do I appear bisexual? Do I radiate attracted-to-men energy? When I tell you I'm a lesbian, do I not look lesbian enough?

And perhaps what's even more offsetting is that my bisexual friends deal with that same questioning. Based on who they've dated in the past and how they present themselves, they are often mistaken for being either straight OR gay, not addressed or believed to be the sexual orientation they identify with. As I question whether or not I'm gay enough, they question whether or not they're bi enough. This same thing happens to LGBTQ+ individuals of all identities, for example, trans/enby individuals at any point in their transition.

Not feeling like what you identify with sucks. Plain and simple. I have a bisexual friend who hasn't dated women before but feels less bisexual because they haven't had a physical relationship with someone of that gender. Sometimes I feel less gay because I thought that I had crushes on guys in middle school and high school and that I should've figured it out sooner. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the most acute version of our labels as we can, but it has always done more harm than good. Stereotypes about your identity don't define you, you define what your identity means to you.

This Pride Month, I'm here to say that there's no one way to be straight, gay, lesbian, trans, pan, bi, ace, aro, enby, queer, or any identity/orientation. Doubting yourself, being misgendered or misidentified, oppression, homophobia, transphobia, and violence are struggles that our community has to face every day, but we don't face these challenges alone. Together, during the month of June, we celebrate who we are — and break down the boxes society tries to put us into based on what we call ourselves. Whether you fit the stereotypes associated with your identity or not, you are validly and correctly yourself, and that's the real thing to be proud of.

ashlyn
ashlyn

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