Monday, September 10, 2007

Off With the Hair!

Okay, that's it.

I'm done with long hair.

I went to a meeting today and saw an old friend. It's been a few months but not that long.

Oh my god, she said. You look like... Christy Brinkley. In drag.

I have, most of my life, had very short hair. Stylish, I hope, but short. I started growing my hair out last year mainly because I kept forgetting to make an appointment to get it cut.

When I finally made it in, my hairdresser and friend of 20 years said, Let's keep growing it out.

Since I have never argued with her before, I said, Sure.

I went through the barely long enough to tuck back behind your ears stage. then the night quite long enough so it looks like a bad bob stage. I finally got to the long enough for a substantial pony tail when it's hot phase and any longer would make me look like Lindsay Lohan on crack.

I have also, most of my life, identified as a fairly butch woman. I don't wear dresses, although yes, there are are least two wedding pictures with me in an awful dress my mother purchased for me and insisted I wear. And there was that BRIEF period in corporate America where I also donned a skirt suit or two.

Never heels. I drew the line at heels.

For the rest of my adult life, I have been a jeans, tee shirt and sneakers kinda gal. I do have business suits for moments when I need to dress up but to be honest? They are men's suits. I have no hips and no butt. I look better in men's suits. I find a nice blouse unless I'm really in a mood and then I wear a tee shirt with that.

It worked for Don Johnson.

I have one pair of women's shoes. I bought them to wear when I was dressing up for my mother. I still have the one pair but since she died, I have not worn them- except to her memorial service.

Overall, my goal in clothes in comfort and some style. Never enough for my son Ben, however.

I came back from my meeting discouraged. Christy Brinkley? I have femmed out. Why?

I do like the long hair. I think it frames my face better. I think at 5'10" it's hard to pull off very short hair unless you are also very skinny. I used to be very skinny. Then that funny thing called perimenopause hit and I look at a salt shaker and gain five pounds. I'm not obese but I'm not ... uh.. skinny anymore.

Ben informed me the other day that if I lost about a hundred pounds? I'd look good.

I told him if I lost a hundred pounds, I'd be dead.

Okay, start with fifty mom, he said.

My friend was trying to be complimentary while noticing what she thought was a huge change. I wasn't the big ol' butch she knew and loved. I was... tall and blond with flowing hair.

I can't do it anymore. It's not about looking my best it's about my identity. I'm a dyke. I've always been a dyke. I'm proud to be a dyke. Besides, even with all this long hair, when I'm driving out of the beach parking lot in my one piece Speedo with my hair tied up? I still get called sir.

And that's with breasts large enough I've been asked if there are moons orbiting them. Go figure.

I told Ben I was going to cut my hair off. I couldn't do it anymore.

But Mom, you'll have to wear dresses!

I don't think so... but you can.

MOOOOMMMMM.

What Ben doesn't understand is being identified as feminine has never been important to me. In fact, there have been times in my life where being female meant being targeted for abuse. I've let go of some of that fear- which made it possible for me to grow these long locks. The reality? I am who I am. I am proud of who I am. I love wearing men's suits, with tailored shirts and pushing the androgynous/butch boundary as far as I can.

I might get called sir from time to time? But no one ever said Christy Brinkley in drag.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mychale said...

i can completely identify with the "i'm fine with being Androngonous" attitude. I have a very womanly body, and a round face to boot, and when my hair is long, like i usually keep it, and when my face it clean shaven, i watch people struggle over what to call me.

i once had a woman at the bank, even after looking at my i.d. tell me "for a girl your name is so pretty"...it's michael. I just laughed and walked out after thanking her.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Bil Browning said...

Be sure to post a picture so we can see the difference! I'm sure you're beautiful whether your hair is long or short or anywhere inbetween.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous vikki said...

I think of myself as androgynous but I've got big, post-nursing boobs. I STILL get called "sir" which never fails to amaze me. Of course, I have super short hair. Hair trumps boobs in my case.

10:58 AM  

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