You Say “Dyke” Like It’s A Bad Thing

As you know, I got my hair cut the other day. I really, really fucking love it. My mother saw the pictures and told me that my hair looked “dykey” and “butch.” I cried. When I sat down to think about why I had that reaction, there were so many different levels to this statement from my mother, and so many reasons for it to make me upset.

First is the examination of standards of feminine beauty in this culture. Short hair is not “feminine,” and that is a Bad Thing. Women should be “feminine.” It’s such a restrictive idea of gender and appropriate expression of gender. Women don’t have to be “feminine.” Furthermore, short hair does not equal “masculine.” Straight women can have short hair, and a woman with short hair does not automatically become a lesbian. I actually identify as high-femme, and so calling me “butch” is such a radically inaccurate statement about my gender identity.

Then there was the implication that looking/being “dykey” or “butch” was a Bad Thing. Even if I *was* either of those things (and there are many times when I very much am the former), that wouldn’t be bad. Being gay or butch or femme or whatever isn’t Bad and it isn’t Good. It just is, like having brown hair or being Italian.

And then I fall back to the fact that my mother does not accept me for who I truly am. As much as I try to tell her things about my life, and as much as she tries to accept me for me, the Queer Thing is the one thing she can’t come to terms with. She knows I review sex toys. She knows I’ve done “S&M” (her words, not mine) stuff. She knows I met the girlfriend of a guy I’d been kind of seeing. She knows my friends are gay. But when it comes to having to associate me with anything more queer than being an ally, she doesn’t want to hear it or know it or acknowledge it.

And so, I cried.

This entry was posted in Parental Control, SGO, Sexuality, Soul Searching, Standards of Beauty. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. adrianaNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry your mother hadto be like that

  2. RedNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, sweetie. As a lady with short, short hair that I’ve even styled in a fauxhawk, I know how you feel. I get more compliments from strangers (as I’m sure you do, too), but from my family I get the “we liked your hair longer” stuff most of the time. Don’t be discouraged. You are beautiful, no matter the length of your hair. And you’re one of the ladiest ladies I’ve ever known! <3

  3. alanaNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Even if none of those other things mattered (though I’m not saying they don’t), it always hurts when the people you love the most let you down.

  4. AandKNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    We think your quite hot…

  5. RicNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Your outfit was awesome, as usual. Your hair sets off your face, and I, personally, love it. Really sad that she does not accept you. Glad you moved to Boston to be yourself.


  6. VanillaKinksNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had short hair all my life and have often been labeled “butch”, “dyke” or “lesbian” because of it and I hated it because that isn’t who I am.

    It just sucks most when it comes from family.

  7. SolangelNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m really sorry. I’ve also been dealing with trying to get my mom’s acceptance (I’m a bi in my first relationship with a girl) and it’s been really difficult. It’s so hard when the people you love let you down. I cried too.

    Btw, I think your hair looks awesome.

  8. Another Suburban MomNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I think your hair is adorable and feminine. I’m sorry your mom is not accepting, but hopefully she will grow out of it.

    The only thing with short hair is that it only works on people who do not have big heads. I would love a pixie, but my big pumpkin head precludes it.

  9. ShondaNo Gravatar
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    *hug* I’m sorry you had to go through that. For the record, I think short hair on women is extremely flattering. Nothing “dykey” about it. I felt more confident when my hair was super short than I ever have.

  10. Sora RyuNo Gravatar
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I can totally relate. I’ve done the short hair and many of my friends accepted it but my straight sister couldn’t get over it. And my mom isn’t an ally either. So I empathize.

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