Coming Out at 57 - Part One
It’s about time I came out. Out, as in to everyone. I’m 57 and it’s about time. I know there are people who know. I display telltale signs. I let my hair down to people I know well. I know people know it about me when I go to places that are, well, comfortable. Where people like me are expected. Or maybe just tolerated. I can see in the faces of people I meet when their eyes cast downward and they suspect. But now is the time for everyone to know. I’m hairy. Yeah. And on the male scale of hirsuteness, I’m pretty hairy. It’s everywhere.
I feel better just saying it. And I’m proud to be hairy. I think if a man has hair, he ought to let it grow. It’s natural. Normal. Desired, even, if I dare say so. And frankly, I’m tired of the blatant put downs – the not-so-subtle insults – the sort-of secret whispers. I like my hair and people need to allow me my right to let it pulse in the breeze and soak up the sun.
I was recently on a massage therapist FaceBook group page, reading a question by a therapist about how to treat men with hairy bodies, and was disturbed to read several comments like, “Nair,” “a razor,” and the like. I mean, would we be encouraged to discuss body size in the same way? No. It would cause an uproar. We would be told to treat all of our clients with respect. Well, as a client, and as a therapist, I was insulted, to say the least, and upset that people in the health profession were degrading a certain class of clients with humorless insults.
I got over it. I did make a comment on the page similar to that above, and one offender apologized to me saying that she was just trying to be funny. I answered her comment saying that if there were therapists who were disgusted by body hair, they should send those clients to me! I’d be happy to work with them. And their hair.
So what do I expect? To be treated like a normal person that no more needs to shave than another person needs to cover up. We all have parts of us that others would prefer not to see. But we can’t go around demanding that people hide things just to suit our personal tastes. And I assure everyone that the hair on my body will be at least as clean as the hair on their heads.