Let the Hair do the Talking

By Joy Chan

I am not entirely sure if cutting my hair the way I did was necessarily a fashion statement but more so a way to express who I really am. There are a lot of ways to express or represent oneself. Some people do it through styles of clothing, or the way they walk, or what shoes they wear, and some people cut their hair. Other times people wear certain things to make a statement, or get a reaction.

I identify as genderfluid and pansexual. Genderfluid is a gender identity, which is mix of male and female traits and qualities that one person might experience. Genderfluid people also might feel more masculine or feminine from day to day. Pansexual is a sexual orientation, and refers to those who are sexually attracted to people regardless of their gender, they associate themselves with people of all different types of sexual orientations.

I have tried to be as open about it as I can be, but I have hit a couple of barriers. My family, mainly my mother doesn’t fully accept that I am neither a boy nor a girl because my mother has always wanted a beautiful daughter. Coming out as pansexual and genderfluid was hard, I had to first explain what it meant and why I felt and identified this way. My mother rejected the idea and said that wasn’t possible and that there was no way I’d know at such a young age. My aunt said that I should stop being an attention seeker, and that this was a phase that everyone goes through and that it would eventually come to pass. My grandfather has also always wanted me to be a precious, beautiful young lady with good manners, and hasn’t really understood my gender. In a way I haven’t met any of these desires, at least not through their eyes. But it matters more to me to be who I truly am and not to let anyone or anything stand in the way of that. I have struggled a lot with just wanting to be accepted, and that has also made me cower away and to pretend to be someone who I’m not. But I have decided that in order to be accepted I have to be who I truly am.

Cutting my hair was a symbol of my willingness to dive head in and be who I truly am. I have always wanted short hair, as I think it suits me. I tend to align with the more masculine side of things; I don’t like wearing skirts or dresses which makes shopping with my mother practically impossible. I also felt like cutting my hair was a harmless way to show that I wanted to be more masculine and that I don’t always have to be super girly. Cutting my hair made my mom mad, and as I explained the reasons to her, she continued to get angrier. She said that she had previously said no and that I had to listen to her. I felt like cutting my hair was harmless and not to outrageous, but nonetheless, my mother was outraged. On the other hand practically all my peers and friends loved my haircut, saying that it suited me and looked good. I feel that, in a way, cutting my hair was a way of telling people that I’m serious with the way I identify and it is not a phase. I just wanted my family and everyone else to realise that.

I never intended to make a fashion statement with my hair. I just wanted to do what I thought would represent me. As for my family, they are not very happy with the result, as they view my hair as a sign that they’re losing their precious, beautiful angel. But I reassure you, it just takes time to adjust to change, and I accept that. I can still be their precious angel, as well as still being me.