One of my most vivid memories of middle school was the day the boy I had a crush on actually noticed I was alive and said something to me. He said ‘You’re a girl? I thought you were a dude!’ And he laughed and walked away.
When I was in my early 20′s I ‘threw in the towel’ and shaved my head. It was sort of my declaration that I was done trying to force myself into a box I just didn’t fit into.
I kept my head shaved for much of my 20′s, and have revisited the style now and then in my 30′s. I tended toward steel-toe workboots, wallet chains and flannel. What can I say, it was the 90′s. A lot of people assumed I was gay. I didn’t mind, it’s not like being thought gay is an insult or anything.
Do you know, one thing I NEVER lacked for was male attention. And the men that were attracted to me and who I had the pleasure of dating were intelligent, confident, generally very good looking men who treated me with respect and as a partner, not as an object or possession. I am still friends with many of them. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, he has treated me with absolute love and acceptance from the day we met. He is THE most amazing father you can imagine. He is funny and intelligent and handsome and has a rewarding career.
One thing my non-traditional appearance has done for me is weeded out a lot of douchebags. That’s a win. A big one.
Be you. The people who matter will respond positively. The people who don’t matter will weed themselves out very effectively.