When I get my hair done in a local salon, I’m always pleased with the way my hairdresser colors, cuts and styles my hair. She does a fantastic job, and she’s quite personable. However, I’m always uncomfortable at this salon and that’s because politics are openly and very one-sidedly discussed. Not only does Sandra* say things I disagree with, but the other stylists contribute proudly to like minded ideals. Sometimes, the clientele chime in also. I am exasperated. Not only do we live in a blue state, but our town voted with Democratic majority in the last election.
So, yes, I’m taken aback by this sort of good ol girls network. And to be honest, I’d feel for other customers if the talk went the other way. I just don’t think that in a public venue such as a salon, politics or religion should be discussed in an assumptive manner that everyone is like minded. For the record, I was never asked. I also don’t see any signs warning that this salon caters to conservative viewpoints only. There really ought to be a sign. I can guess they’ve lost at least a few customers. I should have left a long time ago myself, but I really like the way Sandra does my hair.
Really, I shouldn’t be surprised at things that are said anymore. I keep my Democratic, progressive card well hidden, but I remain silent on the topics of national healthcare, taxes, and President Obama. Afterall, Sandra has the final say as she wields not only scissors, but hair coloring chemicals. Silence can indeed be golden in certain situations.
However, I am disappointed that I didn’t speak up a couple of weeks ago. Sandra and I were talking about the upcoming ABC show “Dancing With the Stars”. She stated quite emphatically that it would be weird this season because there was going to be a “he who was really a she” to be partnered with pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer. The celebrity in question is Chaz Bono, who has become a man after having been born female. Sandra let it be known that she thought this whole situation strange, and how unfair it was for Lacey to be stuck with this “he-she”.
Did I speak up in defense of Chaz Bono? No, I did not. I was afraid to truly speak my mind. Instead, I changed the direction of the conversation by wondering aloud how the pro dancers were matched up with the celebrities in the first place.
What I should have said was that while it took a mere minute for Sandra to dismiss Chaz as a freak, it has taken Chaz a lifetime of not feeling real or comfortable in his female body. Chaz has finally felt peace in the truth of who he was meant to be. It took courage to undergo hormonal changes as well as some surgery to become Chaz. How brave of him to risk redneck slander by appearing on a show that makes the most poised celebrities put themselves out there in such a vulnerable way. But most of all, who are we to judge anyone? Chaz is a human being. End of story.
I wish I had said that, but I didnt. Chaz is a much braver person than I will ever be. But I’m saying it now, and I hope that counts for something. More power to Chaz for appearing on the show. He has my full support and admiration.
*Sandra is a pseudonym for my real hairdresser’s name. She’s still the one holding the scissors!