I think I’ve been frank about my scrub status but I’ll reiterate if I haven’t made it clear already: I’m a scrub. Not the kind shouting at girls from the passenger side of their best friend’s ride, but I’m probably still sitting in the passenger’s side if I’m in a car—still working through that driving fear, ya dig. TLC shout-outs aside, I’m also just a chill person when not stressing about social inequalities and climate change; I’m not into status. Although I work hard really hard and tend to do well at what I set my mind to (got a pile of awards from school awkwardly sitting on my bookshelf), I’m not into honors. Nor uncomfortable clothing, so it’s unlikely I will be caught in a pantsuit, heels, flats, ties, super tight pants, binder, corset, or anything else that will leave me cold, too constricted, or hurt my knees. I dig the collared shirt + blazer look but I always feel like I will Hulk out of the blazer despite having the build of Tinker Bell. Button-up shirts, bless their little buttoned hearts, make me sweat. I wear strictly pearl snap flannels because I like the option of tearing off my flannel quickly. I seem incapable of patiently buttoning and unbuttoning a shirt.
I’m a scrub. And maybe that’s not the best thing ever—I definitely shouldn’t seek professional success on the east coast—but I’m thankful I recognize and honor my preferences. I’ve never forced myself to be something I’m not. I’ve grown, I’ve tried new things, I continually learn more about myself and others, but I haven’t forced myself into boxes I don’t fit in terms of appearance, gender, sexuality, and behavior.
But hair is a challenge, Leslie. Keeping things in perspective, this is not a serious problem (the U.S.A’s mass shootings, criminalization of black, brown, and trans people, climate change, and Syrian refugees’ need for homes are some actual issues demanding immediate attention). But I do need a haircut.
It’s difficult finding hairstyles which suit me, and hair stylists who won’t intentionally or otherwise push a gender on me. How can I get a haircut which is neither very “masculine” (short, angular, sharp lines) or “feminine” (you calling it a pixie cut because i have boobs?)? I love haircuts but I’m tired of fretting about conversations with hairstylists. I want someone who will easily understand my meaning when I express my needs. I don’t want to get into an entire conversation about gender for them to get my fluidity.
The problem is barbershops feel so men and hair salons feel so women
and i am middle,
outside, a blend, a shirt that shrunk in the wash
different now but maybe one day
I feel guilty, worrying I’m asking for a gender therapist
palm reader or psychic
who doesn’t exist
When I sit in a chair.
Just read me, read me right,
I want to say. I am
of hanging much
on the coat rack
in the corner of a barbershop
hoping the wielder of clippers and
will realize I’m not trying to be read
as pixie butch hard wispy
I wish there were ungendered ways of saying (having people get)
please give me a cut that suits me on foxy days
(it’s been so long since I’ve foxed)
all my foxy days~
dresses, legs, disco pants,
mesh tanks, soccer shorts,
jeans, and triblend tees.
I ask for the sun,
as a flower (don’t call that feminine)
ready to tilt in 360 degrees
(Some photos from the last five years.)