As a young kid I was fully different to the other kids. They let me know that I was. People commented on my freckles. I was called random names. Leprechaun, fire crotch. I remember being out with my mom as a kid, and a random woman stopped her and said I looked like a french fry with ketchup on top. She didn't say it maliciously, but as a kid it still makes you feel a way. French fry with ketchup on top! That's one of the farthest things from human that there is.
For some reason people think we all look alike. I've been called every red haired person I think. Conan O'Brien, Bill Burr, Fry from Futurama, Howdy Doody, Chucky, Problem Child, David Caruso, Prince Harry (once). Just about anyone with red haired, I've been called that person. I don't look like ANY of these people/cartoons/puppets. How the hell do you look like a puppet? A wooden puppet? The puppet has freckles on it's face. I don't!
People want to know if you can tan. No. That's not a thing. I suppose maybe, if we tried really hard, got a good base going in a bed or something. But generally speaking? Nope. Just burning and screaming.
People have told me I can't wear certain things having red hair. No pink, purple, green, orange, red, and any variation of those. Just about nothing. Brown and tan and black. That's what I'm 'allowed' to wear. Woa, sweet. Brown. Thanks. What a fun colour to wear. What do you even wear brown to do? Take a kayaking course? Coach a little league game drunk? Or tan. Tan. What a colour. Something was white, now it's kinda dirty. Tan. Black is for funerals, drive-bys, deep depressions, women coming down marble stair cases, or people who don't know what matches with what. Black, tan, and brown together? Absolutely disgusting. I like wearing colours. Aqua is an awesome colour. So is yellow. Purple is great. Salmon? Get out of here. I used to CRUSH salmon shirts. I don't care what the losers on 'What Not To Wear' would say. Earth tones can blow me.
Red haired women are notoriously loved. Red head men are typically thought of as strange, ugly, woodland creatures that only come out of the trees to play the flute with Satyrs. People have said to me, 'You're good looking for a red head guy." How am I supposed to take that? What am I supposed to say?
"Yes well, you know, I managed to escape before they dragged me to the center of the earth with the other red haired trolls."
Here's a weird thing about having red hair. I'm not a white man. I mean, clearly I am. Red haired people are white people. We are almost the ultimate white people. We can't tan. We are whiter than the average white person. We should be considered white people. But are we? Nope. White people don't refer to us as white. We are 'gingers', 'red heads', 'carrot tops', 'ginger cunts', 'soulless', and any other number of dumb things. The only time white people consider me white is if I'm with a group of black people. Then I'm a white guy. But if I'm with a group of white people, I'm one of those names.
It's only ever white people who have said things to me about it. That's it. Only ones that point it out. White people like to remind me I have red hair as if somehow I forgot. I woke up out of a coma and completely forgot about what has been on top of my head for 28 years.
"You know you have red hair, right?"
"Whhhhhaaaaaaaaattttttt?!!!?? How did this happen!"
Only ones that have ever said anything about it, actually. If black people make fun of me, they'll say something about me being white. It's weird, black people think I'm the whitest of white people, and white people don't consider me white.
A black guy came up to me after a show awhile ago and said,
"Do you know why black people and red haired people get along? Because white people hate us both." Don't know how true that is, but it made me laugh.
'Kick a ginger day' a few years ago really made me angry. I walked around hoping that I got kicked. The thought that people who have red hair were really beat up that day made me so mad. Again, it doesn't seem that we're different, but then things like that will come along and you are reminded that even if you don't think you are, people do. 'Kick a ginger day'. It made the news a bit, but basically it was saying, 'watch out, parents of kids with red hair. They'll kick em!'
If there was 'Kick a black person day', or 'Kick a woman day', or 'Kick a dog day'? There'd be crazy outrage, and rightfully so.
We're different. I'm fine with that. I used to hate having red hair. I love it now. I wouldn't change it now if I could.