While speaking to Variety on the red carpet of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual grants banquet on Thursday, The Chi creator explained that she had been wanting a change for a while, but felt apprehensive over how others would react. However, she was eventually able to overcome her doubts and go through with the haircut.
“I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am,” Waithe said. “I think I thought for a long time, ‘Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be—in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories—I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch,’ and I’ve always thought, ‘Well, no, I’m not that, I’m still soft.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I gotta put that down ’cause that’s something that’s outside of me.'”
Fellow celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Laverne Cox were quick to praise Waithe’s honesty. “Good morning, @LenaWaithe, you always have the best answers,” Kaling tweeted.
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