August 2001


A month ago, I decided to do something radical for a rave. I wanted it to be a surprise to all of my friends when I did it. I also wanted to be different. I decided to dye my hair bright red.

Red? It might not sound weird at first. Just imagine a black guy with bright red hair, and I think you can imagine how I must have looked.

The results were great. My friends either loved it or envied me for doing it. My coworkers at my fast food job (you can guess which one. Hint: their mascot has red hair.) got a hoot out of it. Even my coworkers at my second job (where I am a host) were into my hair. One of my favorite reactions were from these three little kids. One after the other, they just said 'I love your hair.'

My hair did great at the rave. I met new people. My hair got petted by beautiful entities (aka women). I was chased by some guy (who had a girlfriend. Go figure). A great time was had by all around.

Then I got back to good old Jonesboro and my hair started to bug me. Granted, I loved my hair still. I just started to wonder though. I wondered why the new people I met through my hair were around me since they never talked to me before my hair was dyed. The hair had given me a kind of independence that I loved. With independence comes the ability to go after what you want without your insecurities getting in the way. Call it a 'devil-may-care' attitude, but shouldn't gay guys be like that? Being able to be yourself and ignore society's frowns? That was how I felt with red hair.

I came to that conclusion when I went to see my landlady about rent. I tend to forget that when a person does something different, every one seems to feel that they have to voice their opinions. I've only known my landlady for three months and she came across as a nice woman. She reminded me of my last landlady.

I gave her money and she told me that she was disappointed in me. At first, I thought that she meant I was short on rent. Then I realized that she was talking about my hair.

Then her next words came out:

"If I had known you were going to do that, I would never have let you move in."

It felt like a slap in the face. I was so shocked that all I could say was sorry. Then she went off on a lecture on how the apartment complex was a nice place and didn't need "my kind." Again I was too shocked to say anything beyond sorry.

What she said bugged me. I was working at the fast food restaurant when I realized that that made me angry. People only live once and we should live life to its fullest. We should try new things. Needless to say, my red hair no longer bugs me.

Right now, my hair attempts to go back to its natural black color. Some time in the future, I can see myself getting my hair dyed again though. I loved it.

Besides, I got this funny line out of it:

"Now that Diego got most wild hairstyle, what am I going to do?"

LaTorre (who doesn't care that he's 'not our kind' if 'our kind' means close minded)

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