If you have been reading my last few blog posts, you will know that I have been job hunting for the last five months or so. The uncertainty of my coming financial situation has been weighing down on me for a while, and as a result, I have been pretty stressed. Well, this week I finally got a new job. I am now the librarian at the Mental Health Law Centre WA, and have been charged with the task of turning a whole pile of boxed donations into a functional library. Not many librarians ever get the chance to start a library from scratch, so it is pretty huge that I have been given this task before I have even graduated. Sure it is only a six month contract, but that will bring me close to the end of the year, and by that time I will have the piece of paper that says I am qualified, and I will be able to start applying for all those lovely jobs only available to New Grads.
So you know how I celebrated my new employment? By shaving my head. Or rather, having my fiancée Sam shave it for me.
You see, I normally have a Number 3 buzz cut. It is part of my self-image, my identity. When Sam shaves me, it is a form of intimacy that we can only share together. I don’t go to a hairdresser, or to a barber. I strip down to my underwear, and have the woman I love shave me in the kitchen.
I am not ashamed of being gay, but I do know that having a buzz cut screams dyke, which is not always a good thing in a slightly conservative industry like Information Services. So I forgo the buzz cut, and grow my hair out for a couple of months into a basic schoolboy cut, that is still somewhat feminine. Personally, I hate it. But I know on an intellectual level that I don’t need to make my job hunting any harder than what it already is. There is just too much at stake. Centrelink payments are not enough to sustain us, even with the fact we don’t have to pay rent. It is hard enough for someone with a disability to find professional employment, without rocking up to the interview as super-butch.
But I have a job now, even if it is temporary. Plus, there is a significant pay rise compared to my current job. Maybe, for the first time in a good few months, I might actually be able to put aside some money for our wedding.
For a long time, I was only ever tolerated by my family. I shaved my head for the first time when I was sixteen, as part of World’s Greatest Shave, though my school, and since then, it has become very much part of who I am. Sure, once I started university I was able to brush it off as a cheaper alternative to a haircut, and my wallet certainly liked it, but the truth was, I liked how I looked. I grew up in a country mining town, where the girls were girls and the men were men. I liked blurring the lines, being different and marking myself as the individual that I was. But even though I am generally accepted within my extended family, my mother and grandmother always take every opportunity to comment on how nice I look with longer hair, how flattering it looks, and how feminine it makes me.
Either way, now I have secured employment, I am able to reclaim my identity, my self-image. Besides, you have no idea how good it is to feel the breeze on my scalp once more.