By Kayla Kahn
A few nights ago, I had a major shift in my life. I made the decision to cut off all of my hair to face the judgments I held within about being a “lesbian.” I despise labels and believe that instead of gay, straight, bi or transgender, we are all just souls living a human experience meant to love and cherish everyone and every moment. I grew up learning and believing that men married women and that men were supposed to have short hair and women were to have long hair. It was just how it was and the only women who could get away with short hair were grandmas and the people others called “dykes” or “lesbians.”
As I hit my young teen years I started to become aware of the fact that I only got butterflies around women I found attractive. The guys were all totally chill and I had so many guy friends but that’s all they were. I never felt any emotional pull or feelings towards them in that kind of way. So I had to open myself up to accept who I was despite not understanding why I was that way. I made a vow (in my judgmental young mind) to never look like what others called a “lesbian” or a “dyke,” meaning I would never have short hair because I did not want to lose all of my femininity.
Well, seven years ago I happened to meet and fall head over heels in love with my now-fiance Samantha Stewart. She is a free-spirited, gorgeously stunning woman who was the complete opposite of everything I knew and everything I believed I had ever wanted. Oh the irony! She never wears heels, refuses to wear a dress on our wedding day, but she loves to not match and strut her style.
A few years into our relationship she decided to surprise me with a new haircut. She spent hours in the bathroom (yes, she is skilled enough to cut her own hair). When she walked out, it was a moment I will never forget. I saw her beautiful long brown hair on the floor and her standing in front of me with hair so short she could spike it if she wanted to. I didn’t say a word and just started bawling my eyes out.
I was in complete shock. From that moment, she knew I no longer found her as attractive with short hair as I did with her long hair and it took me so long to shake the raw honesty I was emitting through my energy. It broke her heart, shattered her confidence – and because I unintentionally hurt the one person I would give my life for, I became very depressed and angry. Who the hell did I think I was?! To hold such judgment over something as stupid as hair?!?!
Since that day she has cut her hair many times and I have found that she is still the same person and is so beautiful regardless of the length of her hair. I also took a step back to ponder those who are just as judgmental as me yet face chemo and lose all of their hair. How do they feel and what life shift did or are they going through? So I made the ultimate, very tough decision to cut off all of my hair to face what I judge most and find the authentic beauty within myself.
Because it is easy to judge ourselves, it is easy to judge others. But by loving ourselves unconditionally, I believe we can love others just as much without judgment. This haircut, I will admit, is hard to deal with. I do not feel feminine and I do not feel pretty, but what I do feel is me – the me that is no longer hiding behind my hair and superficial beauty. And I hope that others will be moved to make a personal change in their life as well to be a part of the change they wish to see in the world. We are all beautiful and each and every one of us deserves to feel proud and comfortable in our own skin. I am not my hair, I am not my skin, I am not my sexuality – I am my soul that lives within and I am now free.