For a lot of people, coming out of the closet means you can finally represent and express yourself as you've always wanted to.
And for many, that's an opportunity for a brand new stylin' do. We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their "coming out haircut" stories with us — bad bangs and all.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Lydia Jackson, 28
"I wanted to change my appearance and what everyone had previously known me for. I wanted to change with my surroundings."
"I wanted to stand out on the soccer field and didn't want a ponytail, so I decided to do a mohawk. Everyone was interested and it really made people think, I wonder if she's gay? Now I think, Dear lord, I had a lot of guts to do that back in 2003! I drastically changed my hairstyle again a year ago when I moved to New York. I wanted to change my appearance and what everyone had previously known me for. I wanted to change with my surroundings. My hair is really my vocal piece of my upper body region."
2. Emily Chiu, 28
"There was some serious gender navigation after the cut, but there still is sometimes, I suppose, depending on my mood and, well, my haircut."
"The photo on the left was taken at the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I had selectively come out to some people already, but I wasn't OUT-out. That semester, I became an intern at Bumble & Bumble, where they gave all their employees — even the interns — free haircuts. I had always been curious to go short as an adult (my mom gave me a horrendous pixie when I was a kid and basically put me off short hair for-almost-ever), so I figured there was no better time than with a free $200 haircut that I would never pay for. Most people knew I was gay after that, and, as a result, I actually was able to date, which was cool. There was some serious gender navigation after the cut, but there still is sometimes, I suppose, depending on my mood and, well, my haircut!"
3. Nikki, 18
"My hair is an expression of my rise in confidence in myself and my love for creativity and change."
"I wanted to stand out to other people, and I thought that colorful, short hair would catch more ladies' eyes. It wasn't perfect but I still love it and would do it again, not to gain attention but to give myself more confidence. My hairstyle changes a lot. I have been doing a lot of protective hairstyles lately, but I do let my natural hair flow in between stylings. My hair is an expression of my rise in confidence in myself and my love for creativity and change."
4. Carly, 19
"I absolutely loved my hair, something I was never able to say my entire life."
"I was always known for having a thick side braid for all of high school. One day I said, 'Screw this!' and I chopped it all off. My haircut truly changed my life, I became a million times more confident. I absolutely loved my hair, something I was never able to say my entire life. After more than a year of having it short, I realized that cutting my hair felt so liberating because I am genderqueer. My hair actually helped me understand my gender identity. After the first awkward months of learning how to style, or not style, my hair, I started to get the hang of it. People say my celeb look alike is Rachel Maddow — best compliment ever."
5. Rebecca, 18
"It feels like an expression of who I am now: young, finding myself, and bright AF."
"I came out to my parents over the phone while on a semester in Australia, and in the same convo said I was planning on dying my hair pink in L.A. before coming home. My dad said, 'Since you came out to us (five minutes ago) you've really gone off the rails.' I have the best parents. Coming home, newly out and newly pink, felt like I was reborn in image, but loved for who I had always been. And, I'm still rocking pink! I'm literally getting my roots redone as I write. It feels like an expression of who I am now: young, finding myself, and bright AF."
6. Justin, 24
"After coming into my gay identity, I wanted to feel as though people would really be able to 'see' me."
"I had a huge fringe that I blew upwards and pinned into some sort of huge quiff/mohawk. After coming into my gay identity, I wanted to feel as though people would really be able to 'see' me. It was a real manifestation of my newfound sense of pride and rainbow affiliation. Looking back, I feel 100% mortified, 100% of the time. I looked like the human descendant of a pack of (very proud) unicorns. But in saying that, I also look back on it with fondness and love. That was a period of my life that saw me claim my identity, and that's something I am very proud of. Your gender performance can be as effeminate or as masculine as you authentically are. So my haircut no longer need to speak for who I am, because I am now fully capable of doing that on my own."
7. Candice, 23
"I cried when it was over because for the first time in my life I actually liked the person I saw in front of me."
"I had finally come to terms with my asexuality and one day I looked in the mirror and thought, 'I need to be true to myself.' I invited a few close pals who I trusted and they came for the emotional support. I'm so glad they were able to share the experience with me. I cried when it was over because for the first time in my life I actually liked the person I saw in front of me. There's not a day that goes by that I don't feel absolutely handsome, is amazing how something as cosmetic as hair can change your entire life. I like to tell people I keep my hair like myself, nice and short."
8. Dhruv, 24
"A guy flirted with me in public for the first time after I dyed my beard — it's kind of a big deal in India."
"I started going bald at 16. By the time I was 21, I had started shaving my head, but thankfully I had a beard. My coming-out hairstyle was just me dyeing my beard green. It was a birthday gift to me. I think I just wanted people to look at me in a different light and not see the same old Dhruv. A guy flirted with me in public for the first time after I dyed my beard — it's kind of a big deal in India. I think I might just go back to it. Whenever I see that picture, I think, I was so brave."
9. AJ, 22
"My hair has always been one of my best features, even before I came out, so I take a lot of pride in making sure my hair looks good and that it represents how I see myself."
"I went with the typical Bieber my junior year of high school. It was so cliché that I would make fun of myself, but it really helped me figure out how I wanted to view myself. I played along with the jokes and it kind of became my trademark at school. I also stopped going to hairdressers and I cut my own hair, so every time it's exactly what I want. My hair has always been one of my best features, even before I came out, so I take a lot of pride in making sure my hair looks good and that it represents how I see myself."
10. Jill, 27
"It allowed me to become more comfortable with my own style and just solidified that I never want to wear a dress again."
"Getting my hair cut was just the final piece of the puzzle. It was like kissing a girl for the first time. You get this feeling of, 'Oh shit, what did I just do?' But then it turns into, 'Oh, this is how it's supposed to be.' It made me feel complete. Looking back, I wish I would have found a better hairstyle, but I don't regret it. It allowed me to become more comfortable with my own style and just solidified that I never want to wear a dress again. It lets me be the dapper AF girl I always knew I was."
11. Alejandra, 24
"I felt empowered by it, and it helped other gay kids identify me in school so I could become friends with some of them."
"Haircuts when you were a young teen can be pretty embarrassing when you remember them as an adult. I feel obviously embarrassed since I asked my stylist for a Joe Jonas haircut at the time ([the Jonas Brothers] were pretty big back then). But I felt empowered by it and it helped other gay kids identify me in school so I could become friends with some of them. Since the Joe Jonas haircut I've had long hair, pink hair, and now that I'm an adult, I have a curly side bob. It has stuck for almost three years now, and I like how versatile it is — I can style it very big and crazy."
12. Tarah, 21
"Cutting my hair off made me feel so complete and so confident — confidence I didn't know I had."
"I've always been super tomboy and I remember always wanting short hair, even before I knew I was gay. I've always really been into guy's fashion and hairstyles. So when I came out, I was so ready to chop it all off. Cutting my hair off made me feel so complete and so confident — confidence I didn't know I had. I never regret cutting my hair off — maybe the style, but I'm happy with my choice of short hair. My hairstyle now still gives me confidence, and getting my hair cut still makes me feel like 100 bucks."
13. Katlyn, 29
"At first, the haircut made me feel nervous because I had never been so visibly queer before."
14. Mackenzie, 18
"Looking back, I think making this small change was enough to make myself feel more comfortable with who I am."
"The moment I came out to my parents the only thing they asked me to do was to not cut my hair. So, naturally, I did. For the sake of not getting put on house arrest until my hair grew back, I went and got a simple undercut with a design. The moment I got it cut, I felt so much more confident in myself. I felt more visible in the LGBQT community (even though I don't think a haircut defines your sexuality). Looking back, I think making this small change was enough to make myself feel more comfortable with who I am. I have kept my undercut to this day — though I no longer do any crazy designs, I keep it clean and trim it constantly."
15. Alexis, 24
"I wanted to stop trying to look a certain way to make other people comfortable and just finally be myself. I felt like my family was OK with me being gay as long as I didn't look like I was 'one of those gays.' And so the haircut was my way of breaking away from what everyone wanted me to be. However, looking back now, I realize I was still trying to please other people. I ended up getting a much more feminine cut than I wanted because i was afraid of going too masculine and upsetting everyone. What I really wanted was a dapper, fresh undercut. There is nothing like looking in the mirror finally liking what you see."