An article on Buzzfeed tells the story of a 23 year old woman who, after years of fighting it, decided to grow out her facial hair. Harnaam Kaur has polycystic ovary syndrome, one of the side effects of which is excessive hair growth. She recounts how she struggled throughout adolescence with her facial hair, and even became so distraught that she resorted to self-harm. Today, she is happy and healthy and says that she feels more feminine than ever.
When individuals are harming themselves because they don’t fit into society’s strict standards of what it means to be “male” or “female,” there is clearly a problem with society — not those individuals. No person should be made to feel ashamed about their body, their sexuality or their gender identification simply because it doesn’t correspond with society’s ideas about what it means to be “normal.”
Although Kaur is not a member of the LGBTQA+ community, she was suffering from the same societal pressures that are causing an epidemic of self harm and suicide among LGBTQA+ individuals.
When will we say enough is enough? How many people will have to harm themselves, commit suicide or be beaten and even killed because society refuses to accept them?
I’m happy that Kaur was able to find strength and peace within herself, and I hope the same to all others in this world who may be struggling to reconcile who they are with who society wants them to be.