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Hair and the Heart of the Matter

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Of all the earth-shaking issues to ponder, of all the serious and critical causes that deservedly need our attention and our action, I’ve chosen to write about hair. Namely, my own. I’ve worn my hair buzzed close like this picture for over fifteen years. At the moment, it’s a bit longer. Over the years, it has been a lynchpin for, still, how we want to see femaleness, desirability, sexual preference, and gender identity.

I remain a woman that many men and women can’t quite peg. Lesbian? Straight? Bisexual? Pre-op transsexual? (The person proffering that one never indicated if they thought I was M to F or F to M.) Angry? (Yes, sometimes, but it’s expressed other ways than the hair.) Buddhist nun? (I love the realm of the senses way to much for that one.)

Simply put, I like how I look. Period. I feel vibrant, sexy, alive…maybe a little edgy and that feeds me. As to who or what I desire, it’s located inside my head, not on top of it. The first thing my former husband said at our first meeting was that he loved my hair—THAT clinched it for me.

I also like that rather than the cluster of dark grapes that used be my crowning glory, my sensuality/identity now has another level of access—you have to actually get close to me. I have to allow you to run your hand against my head—and feel soft, silky, peltish hair. I have to allow you to be there with me. Although I have had a total stranger rub my head, which I think was an attempt to claim, to capture what he couldn’t comprehend.

To that man on the bus: “You still won’t be able to. Be well.”

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About Lisa Alvarado

  • Lazaro Castillo

    Hey there you beautiful woman. Great article and I am passing this one over to my Lesbian daughter and my other Queer daughter as well. They will love it.

  • Dawn Marie Galtieri

    I have also had my hair short since I was 30, let it grow and then cut it really short again (buzzed) 3 or 4 years ago.

    Coming from an Italian background where hair is linked to femininity, I find it profoundly liberating.

    I was always intrigued by women with cancer who described a new sense of themselves after having to cut their hair. It carried so much weight, the loss of hair, but many found a new sense of womanhood and sexiness without it. Nothing to hide behind.

    Without all the pain and loss, this is how I feel about my hair. Without it’s length, I am front and center. And it filters out those who depend on it for their own comfort with a female.