Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Boi's Glory is in his Hair

I remember the first time I noticed them - these little black hairs sticking out from his chin. It was karaoke night at the Otter. It was our first extended conversation and we were talking about Alice Walker and different feminisms in between locking eyes and grinning and turning away, laughing at our awkwardness even as our discussion was serious. It was also our first interaction under reasonably bright light. I remember remarking on how odd that a bar should be so bright. My eyes traveled from his naturally ink black hair to the hunter green of his eyes and to these little whiskers on his chin. I figured he was genderqueer but I didn't yet know how he felt about transitioning. In any case, I found his gender transgression as evinced by the presence of those hairs to be beautiful and brave and incredibly hot.

Whiskers I, St. Paul August 2007

The next afternoon, I saw them even clearer as we stood kissing on his porch, the unseasonably warm February sun glinting off them. Sadly, the next time I saw him they were gone. I could tell by the little red swellings on his chin that they had been plucked. I didn't say anything because I didn't think we were at that stage yet. I hoped inside that he had not done this for my sake and I cursed myself for not praising his whiskers sooner.
A few months went by and I began feeling comfortable so I dropped some subtle hints. What happened to your little hairs? And when he would mention plucking - You know, you don't have to do that for me. Until finally, once I grew comfortable - I love your whiskers! Bring them back!
So the whiskers made a glorious come back. It turns out my love liked his whiskers, but felt like other people would find them weird or problematic as they misgender him as female.

Whiskers II, New York October 2007

My love told me that people stare at them. I stare too.

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