I was fourteen. I'd just realized that you didn't have to be gay or straight...you could fall somewhere in between. Suddenly I was able to put a word to how I felt and suddenly, I just really wanted the world to know. I think it was subtle at first. Just necklaces and bracelets. Given that I hung out with a lot of raver types, people just thought it was a candy-kid thing.
The hair should be a dead give away, though. I've been dying my hair since I was fourteen too. The first time I did it blue. Blue has always been my favourite colour and when I asked my mum if I could she only asked if she'd have to pay. I old her no and she said I was free to do as I wished. I don't think she suspected it would go the way it did. I had blue hair for four years, almost constantly. There were the few times I'd start fresh by shaving my head, but as soon as there was enough to bleach there was enough to dye and I'd be blue again.
I'd always wanted to try and do a rainbow so for Pride one year I bought bingo dobbers in six colours. My hair was growing back in from the latest shaving so it was easy to draw the lines of colour on it. One of my best friends helped me with it and marched with me int he parade the next day. It was all right but it rained and the rain got my head wet which caused the bingo ink to run. It was neat, but just didn't work how I wanted it to. Unfourtunately, at $20 a tube, using the same colour as I used for the blue seemed impossibly expensive.
Eventually I saved up and sucked it up and went for a properly dyed rainbow. I bought the dye progressively over a few months so the cost wouldn't hurt so much. Then I just went for it! My first Pride with rainbow hair, with the Bingo Dobbers, I was seventeen. At eighteen I did it properly and now every year, when the first day of spring has just passed, I prepare my canvas. I get my hair bleached professionally but I do the colour myself. I use a three section mirror and my own sense of touch to get the lines right. This is my seventh year of rainbow hair and my tenth year of coming out. I've managed to get my hair the dykiest it's ever been (A rainbow fauxhawk with a rattail? How much gayer is there?) and while it will be ticking me off in about two months because maintenance is so hard, I'm loving it right now. Right now it's my favourite most renewable canvas. It's my declaration of my spirit and my passion for colour and artwork. It's my imagination. It's my creativity.
It's just something I'm in love with.