pride & haircuts & life being awesome sometimes

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so. i have been oddly obsessed with cutting my hair off lately. it’s three parts “i know it looks bad” and one part “i need a change” and one part “OMG! i just realized that EVERY SINGLE TIME i have had long hair, my life is boring! and i’m sick of life being boring!”.

i even tried to go to a freakin’ SALON on the lower east side, even though that is really not something i do, or really have the money for, because i was so obsessed with the need to just get it all off my head. but the place that sounded so good on the internet had a “for rent” sign on the window and the sign had been taken down. well. so i took the train back to long island & got very upset about a whole bunch of things in my life that are unrelated to my hair. i was super sad all day, about lots of things that haunt me, most of which i cannot do anything about.

and then! late-ish that night my brother handed his smartphone to me and said, “hey guess what?” he had a news app open & the headline said that gay marriages are approved in NY state!  i know this is all old news to most peeps reading this & i know marriage is highly problematic. but i was so, so happy and hopeful. so overjoyed that my home state is now letting queer people who want to get married. and it was so cool how many random straight people were psyched, too. shows just how much has changed in my short lifetime…

anyway. i wasn’t planning on going to pride at all this year. too big, too corporate, too much. but this year i was like, no, i have to go! it’s so wacky that i happened to be in new york when this passed, i have to go out & celebrate. so i found where dykes on bicycles were meeting up to march in the parade, and dragged my big blue bikey on the strong island rail road, and next thing i know i’m waiting in a sea of humanity at 39th & 6th.

i made 2 signs for my bike. one is pictured above, and the other said, “I need a gayer haircut! If you wanna help, inquire within. Yes, I brought scissors :)” (this is relevant later on in the story).

Anyway, we were waiting for what seemed like forever but was actually closer to two and a half hours. i was trying very hard to savor the moment, to be grateful for the fact that i was free & celebrating & in one of my fave cities & surrounded by cute queer people. but i was getting a little cranky. every so often i would see something really powerful & amazing, like two young ladies of color wearing homemade t-shirts that said “resistance=life” on the front and “dear NYPD, we are not your targets!” on the back. so fierce & badass. i didn’t get a picture of them, but i did get a picture of these two sweethearts:

i can complain about how marriage sucks and we ALL need to fight for a world where ALL people have health care & survivorship & access to their dying loved one’s bedside, and still love these two ladies to death. i embrace this contradiction.

anyway, all that waiting was worth it when we started marching/riding at 0.5 mph down fifth ave. everyone was SO excited, so jubilant, so joyful. and i’m really happy that i was able to be a part of this ride & this march & this community.

about halfway through the parade route, 2 girls approached me and offered to cut my hair. since the parade would randomly stop & start & we were often just standing around for minutes at a time, i agreed. they were both really cool & currently attend my old college! yay, purchase people!

and we all marched, marched, marched. i was overcome with emotion a few times and yelled, “I LOVE YOU, NEW YORK!” more than once. nobody responded, but it’s okay. at the end of the parade, me & the ladiez sat down & finished my hair cut, and an older woman hairdresser made a video of the event (“it’s gonna be on youtube, i hope you girls are awright with that…”). there was a little mis-communication about the haircut, so it’s way shorter than i would have liked, but it doesn’t look bad or anything. and i got a free haircut & two new palz. and this version of the world is so much better than going to a salon and paying something ridiculous to get a haircut that wouldn’t have a story behind it.

it’s actually the exact same haircut that i got the last time two people randomly gave me a haircut in public–but that was right after high school graduation, and the two cutters were not strangers but two of my oldest friends. and it was a little more jubilant then, cuz i’d been planning it for months, and because high school was FINALLY OVER. this time it wasn’t quite as dramatic, but still it felt satisfying & special & real: that is my old hair, that is my old life. it’s gone now. now i am heading forwards.

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