Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
Coloured hair and different hairstyles have recently become a stereotype of LGBTQ+ people, especially on social media. This argument is used to undermine the opinions and experiences of LGBTQ+ people because coloured hair is trivialised and portrayed as childish, unprofessional and an action that is only done by ‘crazy‘ people.
However, not only is such an idea completely hinged on a simplistic generalisation, but it is ignorant of how hair colour has no control over someone’s intelligence. Furthermore, this commonality of undermining LGBTQ+ people’s opinions by basing it on trivial things such as coloured hair is homophobic, transphobic and bigotry. If you need to devalue someone’s appearance to undermine their argument or opinion, you do not respect or accept that person. The stereotype that LGBTQ+ people colour their hair has no foundation in logic and was completely thought up to vilify them.
Moreover, the notion that all LGBTQ+ people colour or dye their hair ignores the larger percentage of them that don’t (not that it matters). Dying your hair makes you stand out and thus makes you more noticeable, creating a common thought that the majority of LGBTQ+ people dye their hair. In fact, it may be a surprise, but the LGBTQ+ community is extremely diverse, full of different kinds of people. We are not the same simply because of one characteristic or similarity.
On TikTok, Instagram and Twitter it is common to see people dismiss arguments dished out by people with coloured hair by saying such things as ‘of course your hair is [colour]”‘ Not only is it true that not all LGBTQ+ people dye their hair, but it is also true that non-LGBTQ+ people do dye their hair. I am not saying, though, that just because dyeing hair is not a logical connotation of LGBTQ+ people that it is okay to devalue those who do have coloured hair. In fact, the opposite. It is not okay, in any shape or form, to use someone’s appearance to devalue, undermine or dismiss their opinion. Dismiss someone’s opinion by the content of the argument, not by the appearance of the person delivering it.
Now that I have cleared up the statistical falsehood that coloured/dyed hair is a trait of LGBTQ+ people, I want to explain why I think there is a thematic similarity of dying hair within the LGBTQ+ people. Though dying hair should not be seen as an LGBTQ+ convention, I cannot deny that a fair few LGBTQ+ people do dye their hair, even I want to. However, I believe that this connection is invalid and that it is not because they are LGBTQ+ that they want to dye their hair.
I believe that the connection lies within experience. Throughout the lives of LGBTQ+ people, there is often common threads and similarities and it is true that we all experience some similar things. From homophobia, transphobia to smaller things such as trying to hide and eventually coming out. There is often a connection between LGBTQ+ people that defies anything else because it is deeper than that. Generally, we all have similar experiences and relate on a level that we all understand what it is like to experience such things. On top of this, one thing we all learn and have to come to terms with is that being yourself is more important than anything else and that in any essence you shouldn’t limit yourself to please others and should do what you want when you want because it is your life.
This sentiment is what creates the common characteristic, personality or appearance traits that we see in the LGBTQ+ community. Dying your hair doesn’t translate to ‘I’m LGBTQ+’ but more so ‘I’m myself and I’m gonna do what I want’. Not only is the stereotype of coloured hair amongst the LGBTQ+ community offensive, but it completely ignores the point of it.
The vilification of coloured hair and the association that has gained with the LGBTQ+ people is closed-minded. People are allowed to do what they want with their appearance and it has no bearing on who they are. Be who you want to be and don’t let anyone stop you from being that. Screw it, dye your hair.