Lena Waithe Explains The Important Reason Why She Chopped Her Locs

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“I’ve gotten gayer, guys”

Lena Waithe has long been a trailblazer for queer black visibility. Last year, she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, for the episode of Master of None detailing her experience coming out. She is also known for her signature locs that she frequently sports. But, in a surprise move, she cut them all off and was spotted last night at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Grants Banquet in L.A. with a new, shaved 'do.

In a red carpet interview with Variety, she described why cutting her hair was so important to her, but not before joking: "I've gotten gayer, guys!" She went on to explain the move, saying: “I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am.” Waithe added that she's wanted to cut her hair for a while, but was afraid how others would view her. “I thought for a long time, ‘Well if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, or I’ll be a butch,” she said. “In the gay world, there’s a lot of categories.”

After the big chop though, Waithe says she felt “joyful” and freer than ever. “I’m here with a suit on, not a stitch of makeup, and a haircut,” she said. “I feel like, ‘Why can’t I exist in the world in that way?’”

Watch the full video below. 

Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, and so much more

Every weekend, we bring you #SOUNDCHECK—your destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week's round features 21 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, Tacocat, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"Please Me" - Cardi B and Bruno Mars
"Please Me" will pair perfectly with all of the Valentine's Day candy you just bought on clearance. Trust me, there couldn't be a more perfect time to listen to this ultra-'90s R&B track.

Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne
I'm honestly jealous of whomever Avril is singing about on "Goddess."

Tacocat - Grains of Salt [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

"Grains of Salt" - Tacocat
When I realized Tacocat was back, I literally turned around at my desk and yelled. It's a miracle.

"Can I Talk" - Caleb Steph
Caleb Steph's debut single proves that he's ready for the spotlight.

Betty - Betty Who
"You better recognize/ That you're wasting all my time" from "The One" is my new favorite response to every "photographer" on Tinder.

"Butterfly" - Kehlani
The only thing more beautiful than this cover art is Kehlani's voice.

SASAMI - Free (feat. Devendra Banhart) (Official Video)

"Free" - SASAMI feat. Devendra Banhart
I would have never predicted a SASAMI and Devendra Banhart collaboration, but I am 100 percent not complaining.

Rex Orange County - New House

"New House" - Rex Orange County
Alex O'Connor never fails to impress me with his soulful bedroom pop, and "New House" is no exception.


"Cuz I Love You" - Lizzo
Distorted guitar paired with Lizzo's belting vocals? Chills, literally. She did that!

"Heads Gonna Roll" - Jenny Lewis
Like if Stevie Nicks' voice met Father John Misty's lyrics.

"Get Well" - Donna Missal
Donna Missal tells me everything I needed to hear about breakups on "Get Well."

"Patient" - Monica Martin
Sultry and sweet.

"Whorey Heart" - TeaMarr
TeaMarrr's bouncy new song is an excellent roast of the kind of fuckboi we all know and hate.

"Ice Me Out (Remix)" - Kash Doll
Kash Doll shows that she knows her way around a beat on "Ice Me Out."

"Lips of Lips" - Tiffany Young
Definitely catch me driving around with my windows down this summer blaring "Lips on Lips."