A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Wella Professionals to be part of their new #ShowYourPride campaign and participate in a photoshoot for Blonde Magazine along with the striking Strify, the luscious Leonie, and the daring David. It was certainly an unexpected request, but one I followed gladly, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about diversity and being different – but also because I got the chance to express some public pride myself with a dash of rainbow colors in my hair.
I’ve been wearing my hair long now for around 5 years and until now I never realized how much of a statement this actually is. I went for it at the time to try out something new, something that I didn’t dare to do before when I was younger. It ended up being the look that I felt most like myself with than ever before.
Here in Berlin, it’s not very exotic to have long hair as a guy, there are many men – gay or straight – that have long hair. But especially when I travel to other parts of the world I realize how much of a daring thing to do this really is. I get a lot of attention for my hair there, mostly positive, luckily. I get some comparisons for instance to David Guetta or – which I prefer – to Jesus. I certainly made the day of some older Catholic ladies in some mountain villages in the Andes who probably thought they had some kind of epiphany. But I also get stereotyped as a surfer dude or as a drug-smuggling hippie at the airport who gets an extra security check.
I’m glad I live in a city where I can wear my hair proudly however I want, where I don’t have to hide it or wear a man-bun to still be considered masculine. As a gay guy, you are often faced with the questions of masculinity and what societies deem ok and not ok to do as a particular gender. Out of the circumstance of being different anyway, LGBTQ* people have always been the ones pushing the boundaries of societal norms. I think they deserve a lot of respect for that.
I wish for this to also happen to all the other parts of the world because – believe me – we do live in a bubble here and other cities and countries are such a long way from having something like equality and a general acceptance towards everyone who’s different. This is also why the Pride movement is so important, even today when a lot of obstacles the LGTBQ* communities have faced in the past appear somewhat overcome, there is still a lot of communities around the world in way less fortunate circumstances. We should never forget that.
I have a lot of respect for brands who dare to stand up for matters such as LGBTQ* rights. They have such big platforms, reach so many people to spread important messages and they help to somehow “normalize” a lot of issues that were considered “not normal” by societies before.
Alongside the release of their new Love Edition of unique styling products, Wella Professionals is supporting this year’s Pride Parade in Cologne that’s happening today spreading some more love through the magic of fabulous hair.
It was an honor for me be part of the campaign and show some pride myself. If you wanna see my short interview and photo shoot in the new edition of Blonde Magazine you should grab a copy because it’s out now!
I wish everyone a great Cologne Pride and look forward to the one in Berlin! See you there…