If you read my previous blog entry, you know that I was feeling depressed in December because of my gender dysphoria. I’ve struggled to accept the male body and features I’ve been given, since my gender identity is female and I would much rather have a physical form that aligns with it. One of the aspects that upsets me most is my hair. I’ve always looked to my hair as an expression of my femininity. Through most of my twenties, I had long hair that I treasured because I felt it was a symbol of my femininity. It allowed me to express my feminine nature in a way that was subtle and socially acceptable, and it allowed me to feel more comfortable about my appearance when I would dress in feminine attire. It was hard to let it go, but when my partner and I were sent to Africa for service in the Peace Corps, it was too much to deal with. The extreme heat made it difficult to keep my long locks, as did the fact that we had to pump and carry water from the village well to bathe ourselves with, and keeping my hair meant I needed to use most of two buckets, rather than just one. Two weeks into our service, I shaved it off.