Saturday, June 20, 2009

at the hair salon

I got a haircut on Friday. I usually get my hair cut at a local hair salon that I have been patronizing for over 12 years.

The owner of the salon has two school-aged sons. My sister, who also patronizes this salon, mentioned that one of the sons might be gay. His mother (the salon owner) is supportive, while the father, not so much.

Anyway, I walked in to the salon about 1 PM without an appointment. I was the only customer, so the owner took me immediately.

When I walked in, I noticed a pretty young girl playing in the waiting area. She was about 10-years-old and was wearing yellow cropped pants, a white flowery top, and her short bobbed hair had a pink swatch in it.

The receptionist asked the girl to go fetch her Mommy from the back of the store because she had a customer.

I did not know who the girl was going to fetch because there are at least three hairdressers working at that salon. When the owner came out from the back of the store to greet me, I realized that the young girl was her son!

I did not mention her son and neither did the owner, but it struck me that maybe her son is transgender and not gay.

I am not "out" at the salon, so I kept my opinions to myself, but maybe I will drop an anonymous note to the owner about my thoughts on the matter or maybe I will mind my own business.


  1. You should DEFINITELY say something. You can probably help both her and her son understand better what he's going through.

    It looks like he's out at the salon, and comfortable! Maybe it's your time too.

  2. It's a difficult call -- this may be the "only" place that the child is able to be free of the inner self that exists, in which case perhaps clinical discussions aren't going to be something she wishes to indulge.

    The other side of course is that at a young age, sadly, it's sexual variance that seems to be misidentified and focused on and not gender variance and is the perfect time for a parent to become educated on the difference so that they can spare the child a life time of confusion and misidentification.

    If it is someone that you definitely do know, then the next time you are there, it would be great to break the ice by commenting positively and cheerfully on the child's outfit or color scheme, something that would allow the mother to accept and perhaps even introduce the child.

    This is NOT something that just peer "support" or "coaxing" would or could benefit the child or parent and sadly where other problems can then be created.

    It would be helpful for the parent to understand the actual differences that are identified scientifically, clinically and medically between transgenderism, transsexualism and of course the word that seems to stir the pot -- transvestism.

    I would be interested in following not only your approach to this situation, but also what the child's assessment truly is.

    Good luck!

    "Doc" (patty)

  3. This is an interesting case. On one side you do want to help them, but should you get involved and embarass them? With Chad Bono in the news you could use that as a conversational opener. I don't think you would need to "out" yourself.

    I know that when I was ten I would have loved to have had some adult support to my parents with information and advice.

    The nicest thing about this story is the mother-daughter experiences that the child is having. I can only recall two in my life but they were both nice memories. This child will have much more than that.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. If I had to do it all over again, I would have said something. If it ever happens again, I will be better prepared to handle the situation.

  5. It would have helped the child - do you still go back there and how is the young girl now that she is 13?