Within the last two years, I’ve taken up dyeing my hair black as an act of devotion to Darkness as a whole. This is not only because it looks pretty, but also as a way of stating “this is where my loyalties lie.” It also helps that I prefer a casual romantic goth type look over any other aesthetic (much to the Madman’s delight.)
Recently I’ve begun to grow my hair out–I still live in a conservative state, and am still closeted in much of my day-to-day life. I decided to grow my hair out in order to “pass” as more feminine at places like job interviews, since I was beginning to worry that my more masculine haircut would mark me as queer right away. Being visibly disabled is a hard enough hurdle to pass over when job interviewing, being visibly queer in a conservative state was becoming something I just didn’t want to have to deal with.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done something with my hair related to devotion. Several years ago, before I knew I was trans, I covered my hair. The Dreamer initially asked it of me because he thought it would make me happy, and at the time I was in an abusive living arrangement, so the head covering would help ground and shield me as well. Eventually, he asked me to stop veiling, because it was no longer helping me (and I later moved out of that house, so the grounding and shielding were no longer needed to such an extent.)
My hair right now is at the point where I need headbands or combs in order to keep it out of my eyes. The Madman has suggested that I style my hair in public, eventually braiding or pulling it back as it gets longer, and keeping it down in private. I really like that idea, and I’ve found it to be comforting.
I actually prefer a more feminine look, which is frustrating when how I want to look, and my gender identity, are often seen as the exact opposite. While I want to transition and live as male full time, I’m also not in a rush to be see as extremely masculine. I feel conflicted about going partly back into the closet (still out to friends, closeted to family and work) because I enjoy some feminine style clothing and jewelry, but despise being referred to as a woman, or with “she/her” pronouns. I know that my safety and ability to have a job comes first, but it’s still really frustrating to have to go back into the closet, when I felt like I was making progress in my gender expression and feeling comfortable in it.