I've had super short hair (and bangs/fringe) for the majority of my life and thus was dubbed a "tomboy" as part of Generation X. Having a carefree hair style made me feel lighter and less constrained, and so has growing up with parents who are laissez-faire and not shocked by what I do. By this I mean things like wearing fishnets with cut off shorts in middle school, buying all black clothes when I was twelve years old, running around until dark (and after), or driving alone thirty hours one-way to go to protests.
Since I could remember, my parents have let me choose what to wear (whether that meant stripes with polka dots and plaid), cut my own hair and helped me make my own food- if I wanted to. I'm fortunate to have had all this freedom and to be part of a generation that did things like climb trees and run wild without cell phones and social media growing up. Things like this have given me the confidence to be a frequent solo-traveler and to be a writer.
It's been great to have the family and true friends support to speak my mind or be a voice of dissent, without giving much of a f--- what detractors think, as long as I know who I am and what I stand for.