I grew my hair long so that I could donate it to a charity that would make wigs for kids that had cancer or other illnesses that made them lose their hair. It all started several years ago when I saw a kid here at Balanced Life Skills who was growing his hair out so he could donate it. At that time I asked my mom if I could donate my hair too. She said that I should wait a while and at that point, if I still wanted to do it, she would let me. After showing her for almost a whole year that I really wanted to do this, I finally had permission to grow my hair! But I still had to ask for permission from the Principal at my school (because having long hair for a boy was against the school’s dress code rules). We were all very excited to have the support of my school so that I could do this project.
I had my last haircut in April 2009 and began to grow my hair. I was determined. When I actually got to the growing of my hair it was harder than I thought. I got yelled at for going into the men’s bathroom because they thought I was a girl. And often when I was with friends and family at restaurants the server usually would say, “may I help you ma’m?” Or “and what would you like young lady?” I learned to just ignore that and used humor to deal with it instead of getting upset. A lot of my friends would have my back by saying things like “actually he is not a girl he is a boy” and other supportive things like that.
It took me almost 2 full years to grow my hair long enough to donate. When my hair was finally cut it was 12 inches all around! I decided to share my haircut with my classmates at school since they had shared this journey with me and supported me along the way. So my mom and dad came to school one day in March 2011 and my mom cut my hair in front of my whole class! I had 10 ponytails when the job was done! I decided the hair should go to Wigs for Kids. The reason I had it go to Wigs for Kids is because the hair goes to wigs made for kids, not adults. And the wigs are free to families that can’t afford to buy one for their kid.
One thing I learned about myself when I did this project was I can do anything if I try and if I have support. I also learned that I have some very good friends that are very supportive of me. My parents tell me that it helped me develop “character” because I had a good attitude about being mistaken for a girl for 2 years. I feel very proud of what I did, and would like to do it again some day soon. I am also grateful to my BLS classmates for their support and encouragement as I did this project.