I’m growing my hair long. This is the longest it’s ever been, and it’s just starting to cover my ears and tickle my neck. This is the third attempt. The previous two times, I got scared and got a haircut after about 8 weeks. This time I think I’m at 12 weeks and still going. It’s getting messy and hard to manage. And I’ve got way more gray hairs than I thought.
I’m scared. But so far nobody has said anything. I’m also happy. Feeling my hair covering my ears makes me feel like a girl. I know it’s kind of silly.
Why do I feel the need to have long hair? Why do I want to wear makeup and dress ultra-femme?
It’s not like all women do these things. It’s not a requirement or law of nature.
I consider myself to be a feminist, and that part of me cannot believe how I much I want to become stereotypically feminine.
Perhaps it is because that I still present as male. If I transitioned, I would not come close to passing. Yet, underneath it all, I want to be seen as and be treated as a woman. So there’s some part of me that thinks I have to work extra hard at convincing others that I’m female. I guess I feel like being ultra-girly gives me a better chance of being accepted. Though the truth is that because of how I look, adopting stereotypical feminine behavior would more likely result in the opposite.
Even as I write this, I’m realizing that I also want to convince myself. By taking on some culturally acceptable feminine characteristics, I feel like I’m being more true to myself instead of hiding. It relieves some internal pressure and anxiety. Though to be honest, it also triggers some dysphoria because it reminds me how far I am from the way I’d like to be.
I’m a product of my culture and upbringing. I’m affected by movies, tv, magazines, advertising, just as much as anyone. Regular girls feel insecure after being bombarded by all that imagery. I feel it too, but multiplied by a hundred. Because at least they are starting from the correct biology.
I aspire to a doubly impossible ideal, even as I want to reject these patriarchal images of women and just be the woman I already am.