Chicago’s own Lena Waithe recently opened up about her decision to snip her signature long locs in exchange for a low cut, admitting that the stereotypes placed on certain members of the LGBTQ community made her hesitant to embrace the big chop.
“I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am,” Waithe told Variety on the red carpet for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual grants banquet.
“I think I thought for a long time, ‘Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be — in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories — I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch,’ and I’ve always thought, ‘Well, no, I’m not that, I’m still soft,’ and I said, ‘Oh, I gotta put that down ’cause that’s something that’s outside of me.’”
The Emmy-winner went on, “If people call me a butch or say ‘she’s stud’ or call me sir out in the world — so what? So be it. I’m here with a suit on, not a stitch of makeup, and a haircut — I feel like, ‘Why can’t I exist in the world in that way?’”
Letting go of her locs made her feel, “so free and so happy and so joyful, and I really stepped into myself.”
Check out the clip below.
— Variety (@Variety) August 10, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.