I have, throughout most of my life, had my hair long or (more recently) shoulder length. I remember being so proud, at age ten, being able to braid it down back, by myself. It was always so thick and healthy, brown with natural auburn and lighter highlights. Once (in my 30’s), I had it cut very short (almost shaved in the back). I went to see my sister in Calgary, and when I got off the plane - she didn’t even recognise me. In fact, she thought I was a famous Canadian singer: K.D. Lang. The other thing I remember from that time of my hair cut so short was when I went out to a club, dancing with some casual women friends. The crowd pulled away, and I realised they thought I was gay - and for them that sparked revulsion. I was not used to that reaction, that identification - Why aid it bother me? Why did I want to protest it? I learned, that evening, about myself, about how my hair informs, and about others. I was given a brief window into what it means to be other. Because of the context, because of my hair.
X., 54, Female, Canada