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.