The supposed link between sexuality and hair

Hair all about it

  • 21.11.2021
  • By Emily Heng

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As with most communities, the LGBTQI+ faction comes with its own set of semiotics. Think phrases and sayings to connotate specific experiences and/or subsections. There’s genderfluidity, which has been making its rounds within the news circuit; BlaQueer, a term employed with heightened frequency in light of the #BLM movement; and the notion of allyship that has been stressed upon time and time again. Somewhere in the yonder of the Internet lies a comprehensive glossary, we’re sure — unfortunately, this ain’t it.

Instead, we’re diving deep into an exact division within said lexicon: hair, and the multitude of ways it functions amongst members of the LGBTQI+. Let us preface this with a fact that hairstyles aren’t actually indicative of one’s sexual identity. Rather, it seems to be a cultural zeitgeist of sorts occurring within the queer community. We’re turning the focus on how certain styles are used to suggest and convey one’s sexual orientation — a curation of cuts and chops that go beyond an expression of one’s personality. To do so, we scoured the Internet and uncovered a horde of LGBTQI+-focused Reddit forums, exposés, and more detailing this phenomenon. A compilation of our findings, below.

Bisexual bob
We’re talking strands that range from your chin to shoulder, typically cut straight. Various sources claim that this is a look that isn’t quite long or short. As LGBTQI+ writer, Kathryn Vandervalk puts it, this is “an incidental reflection of the way bi woman aren’t fully straight or gay.” How apt.

The term seemingly first originated from a Tumblr post in 2015, where three popular pop-culture personalities — all of which are bisexual — sported the same cut. This is further exacerbated in media today, where a plethora of TV shows, movies, and games have continued the trend of having bi characters rock this precise style. Coincidence? We think not.

There are a lot of reasons as to why someone would shave their head. Convenience aside, there proves a huge political significance behind the gesture. An article by Dazed Digital claims its association with criminal activity “has resonances with the Holocaust and (the often forgotten) queer victims of concentration camps”. And so, queer folk worked to reclaim the style and make it their own, to the point where it became widely linked to gay activist organisations such as ACT and Queer Nation in the ’80s and ’90s.

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Bleached blonde
This one is more of a recent phenomenon than anything. It first came to light in a piece by T Magazine writer, Nick Haramis, titled “Age of the Twink.” He argues that the stereotypical bod rocked by most gay men is the anthesis of typical alpha male bodies; “slender and unassuming.” The same can be said of hair, where blonde, flaxen locks are often associated with princesses and/or fair, gentle damsels in distress. In any case, this is a style that is being taken upon by many heterosexual men of today, too, a fact of which Out Magazine — a gay and lesbian publication — has established with a profound piece named, “The Heteros Have Discovered Platinum Blonde.”

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