My husband came home the other day with T. in tow and as he was walking through the door said, “He’s getting his hair cut! I just had another person ask if he’s a girl!” This man has known me close to nine years but he forgets I have authority defiant disorder. * Telling me that just makes me dig my heels in deeper on something. So, I said “Actually, he going to grow his hair to his a–.”
Its then my husband remembers I have a personality disorder and decides not to pursue it. I don’t want T. to get his hair cut for many reasons – the biggest is he has beautiful hair and somewhere not very far down the line is I remember as a little kid what long hair on boys meant to some people.
Hair was a direct threat to the Man and in my house specifically my old man. My brother fought with our dad about growing his hair long. I remember people saying in disgust, “Jesus, is that a man or a woman?” When I was in grade school the touring company of Hair came to our small town college and I went. ** I saw a lot of hair and several penises.
Hair meant something then and I think it still does a little. I am amused by how many times a week I get asked, “what’s her name is” or “how old is she” or “is that a girl or boy”?
I think how is that even possible? Our son wears “boy clothes” – meaning not pink. Girls wear pink or ruffles or dresses. I see them at T.’s school showing up in tutus, pastel snowsuits, miniature ruby slippers, etc
I had a kid ask me at his school last week, “Is he a boy or a girl?” I said, “Boy”. And, I wanted to ask, “What are you?” because I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t tell because this kid had braids in their hair but was wearing “boy clothes”. Turns out he’s a boy and I am as guilty as everyone else.
Recently, I answered an elderly lady’s query in line at the grocery store that T. was indeed a boy, she said, “He could go either way – he’s really beautiful.” I like that because there is a certain beauty in being able to go either way. To not be so pinned down to ideas. That concept goes against my authority defiance disorder but maybe I need to outgrow that.
*To be fair I forget my husband is a people pleaser. This combination of personalities creates balance in an otherwise chaotic world.
**It isn’t that my parent’s were so liberal but they figured that any eleven year old who was capable of buying their own ticket to a play and getting themselves there knew what they were doing.