A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

It’s a good segue into something I really wanted to address, anyway- gender stereotypes and how they DON’T fit with being trans.

I plan on keeping my hair long, all my life if it suits my fancy.  I know it’s kinda one of those really traditional gender cues that, if your hair’s short and cut in a manly way, it’s easier for people to pick up that I’m a guy.  But here’s the thing.
I don’t:
1)  go around wearing what I wear or looking what I look like just to make things easier for everyone else.  I do this for ME.
2)  follow gender stereotypes, because if I think that’s what makes me a man, then I might as well just pack up and go home.
3)  want to go through transition for the sake of being a man, I do it for the sake of being MYSELF.

That’s the thing that bothers me sometimes about the trans community.  Yes, it can be fun to see yourself growing into your right gender, or it can become preoccupying, or an obsession really if you’ve been so hurt by your previous life that you want nothing more than to get away from the gender from that’s been trapping and poisoning your mind all your life.  And really, it’s all understandable.  But sometimes people become so wrapped up in “If I do this, or wear this, or act this way, or change this about my personality, THEN people will see me as a boy/girl,” with more regard to what they think other people need or want to see about them than what THEY want to do with their own lives.

And the dangerous thing about that is, if you carry that way of thinking too far, then you’re caught in the same old trap you were before, only it’s mirrored.  Your body’s right, but your personality is fake.  People are VISUALLY seeing the right person, but they’re seeing the soul of someone who is nothing more than a stereotype- and isn’t that what was wrong with your life before?  They were stereotyping you to the wrong gender because they were seeing the wrong body, but now they’re stereotyping you due to seeing the wrong PERSON.  And maybe they’re stereotyping you to the right gender this time around, but it’s for all the wrong reasons, isn’t it?

If you’re truly a man underneath, or truly a woman, then let your true self out along with that medical miracle of yours, and people will GET it.  Don’t do something because it’s the “girly” thing to do, or the “manly” thing to do, but because it’s what YOU want to do.  If you’re a guy, and you want to be a ballet dancer because it’s what you’re good at and it’s what you love, don’t let your gender stereotype demands get in the way of your dreams or you’re just a sequel to last century’s misogynistic oppression with a neat Sci-Fi spin on it.

Don’t be a cheap Hollywood sequel.

On the rather more specific topic of hair, there are a lot of guys around I look up to as being the portrait of masculinity who had long hair.  A lot of bikers wear long hair, which is more or less my thing, Don Juan deMarco had long hair (I think) and he was the greatest lover in history, so I hear…  How about Jack Sparrow?  Guys would kill to be him, girls would kill to be WITH him, and he wears long hair (dreadlocks, I know, not too often a sign of femininity) AND eyeliner.  How does he get away with it?

(Eyebrows.)

(But that’s another rant.)

I could continue.  Now, however, I’m on to short hair.  Let’s consider these masculine examples.  Little old ladies.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a little old lady in real life who had didn’t have her hair cropped short.  I’ll just consider my point made.

Point of all this is, you don’t need to follow every gender stereotype in the book.  So often, the book breaks the rules itself.  We say we’re soo much like cisgendered people, that we’re just normal like anyone else; well, cisgendered people usually aren’t afraid to break the rules a little, because they’re usually just that naturally comfortable and confident in their gender that they don’t have to go around proving it all day.  They take their own genders for granted and assume everyone else does, too.  We should definitely strive to be that confident in what we know in our souls.

I dare you to step out and do something that defies gender, and laugh in the faces of those who would dare to try and trap you back in one of those little pink or blue boxes.

Be yourself.

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Comments on: "I figured today I’d talk about hair." (5)

  1. findingzack said:

    This is a great point to make, because I think a good portion of transfolk, at first at least, go through a stage where passing is all important, often at the cost of doing things as they’d prefer to. I did. I cut off my hair, studied guys in every sort of way I could so that people would see me for the guy I am…but they weren’t seeing the guy I am. XD Just looking at a reflection of all the guys I’ve seen and worked to be like.

    Not to say that sometimes those skills don’t come in handy…I’d be lying if I said I didn’t focus more on my posture and how I walk when stepping over the threshold to the men’s room. But to me that’s more a safety precaution than anything else now.

    But anyway. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Jack. We all gotta remember that we transition, go through all these complicated steps to show who we are…to be OURSELVES. =3 Must not forget that. Though I will say this — be yourself, but not stupid. >_=D

    And kudos Jack, on a blog well done. (…I don’t know why I had to say that, but I did. So bite me. XD;;) I’ll be following your journey. =D

    • joaquinjack said:

      It’s true, in dangerous situations it can be more important to be seen as male than anything else. Like something my parents taught me when I was a kid: if I was ever lost in a crowded place and I didn’t know my way around, I was to walk with purpose, try not to look like I was trying to figure things out, and exude an air of confidence, even if I was scared shitless, so as not to become a target for criminals, pickpocketers, muggers or rapists. They’ll always go for someone who looks like a confused and lost deer as opposed to someone who’s going to look them in the eye and stride onward. In that same vein, you can’t look like you don’t know what you’re doing in a men’s room- that’s when they really start looking.

      I like the point you made a lot.

  2. Long hair rocks! I had long, long hair for a long time. Like yours in the pic actually! Exactly the same! But often, I saw my hair as masculine. I left it straight and plain, rocker style (I’m a metal head!) and didn’t see it as a female marker. However, when I started hanging out in the “gay” village, dykes used to see me as femme because of it!! I could walk into a bar with a plaid shirt and doc martens and they would read me as femme because of the hair. Ridiculous.

    Anyway, my first drag king persona, Gary Dickinson (named after Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden) had a look much like yours: long hair, biker style, full beard, ciggy . . .I even have a pic of him with almost the same pose 😀

    Eventually, I cut it short, even before deciding to transition. Years of neglect and malnutrition as a student made my hair really ugly and scraggly. And I had gotten to the point where I was using it just to hide my face. So I cut it and I felt a lot lighter and freer, and that’s when I decided to transition.

    Story is not over though! I’m seriously thinking of growing it back although I’ve gotten used to it being short And even if I don’t, I still keep it a little scruffy ; )

    Anyway, kudos for sticking to your guns, dude ; )

    • joaquinjack said:

      Seriously, people read you as femme, even when everything else said otherwise? It’s so weird how one little thing can be what defines everything about you.

      And I really wanna see this drag king pic of you now. You’ve made me curious. 🙂

  3. […] been thinking about it for about 5 months now, and I’ve finally decided that I am, in contradiction of everything I’ve said before, going to cut my hair.  Yes, I’ve said before that I don’t: 1)  go around wearing what I […]

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