DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old man, and I think I have found what I want to do with the rest of my life. There's just one thing: It's not the typical male career. I want to work in a beauty salon as a stylist.
What's holding me back is I'm afraid people will think I'm gay. I have nothing against gay folks, but I am strictly heterosexual.
I have always been told that I'm good-looking, and the fact that I am artistic will also be a plus. I think I could make a lot of money in this field.
Please advise me how to get over this hurdle. -- FUTURE HAIRSTYLIST? IN N.Y.
DEAR FUTURE HAIRSTYLIST?: You have chosen a fertile field of endeavor, one that provides opportunity, portability and the possibility of steady work. While it is true that there are many gay men in the field of hairdressing, there have been over the years some very successful -- and famous -- heterosexuals. Examples: Vidal Sassoon, Jon Peters, Jay Sebring, Gene Shacove and, more recently, Jonathan Antin, to name a few.
How you will be perceived should not be your primary consideration. You know who you are, and the fact that you are straight will get around. Speaking as someone who has spent many hours in beauty salons over the years, I can tell you firsthand that there are very few secrets.